Market Place, Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland

T: +353 (0)21 4774313 E: [email protected]
Posted by Kinsale Advertiser on Tuesday 23 September 2014

Three students at Kinsale Community School, Ciara Judge, Emer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow have had unprecedented success in winning the overall prize at the Google Science Fair Competition 2014 in California. The whole School Community is extremely proud of them and overjoyed at the victory. The Google Science Fair is an online competition which had thousands of competitors across the world. The Irish trio have seen off extremely stiff competition, initially becoming a leading project from across Europe, Middle East and Africa before being selected as one of the final five global finalists in their age group. Their top prize for winning the US title in California is a €30,000 scholarship from Google and an all-expenses paid trip to the Galapagos Islands.
The girls entered the competition with their latest work, investigating the use of a natural bacteria to assist food production by increasing crop output. The students' work, which commenced in 2012 and has continued to this day, showed that a natural bacteria in the roots of plants such as peas and clover could improve the growth of other valuable food crops such as wheat, oats and barley. This innovation would produce substantially increased food yields and reduce fertiliser use, potentially making a significant difference to improving food security and reducing the impact of intensive agriculture across the globe.
The students have previously competed in and won both the 2013 BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition and the EU Contest for Young Scientists.  The following short Youtube video gives an overview of the project and its development: 
The trio regularly tweet on their project under @ciarafudgyjudgy,  @emerhickk and @sophiehealythow