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Students show science is a powerful force for development

Irish Aid, Press Releases, Ireland, 2011

Minister of State for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan, T.D., today welcomed the winners of the ‘Science for Development’ award at a showcase event in the Irish Aid Volunteering and Information Centre in Dublin.   

Schools from Cork, Kerry, Wicklow Dublin and Carlow travelled to the Centre for the event.   The overall winners– from Clonakilty Community College - and their teacher, will travel to Zambia at Easter to field-test their project on food production and health awareness.    

The ‘Science for Development’ award encourages young people to examine issues and the challenges facing people in the developing world and to use their scientific skills to aid development. Irish Aid has supported the award as part of the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition for the past six years.         

Congratulating the students, Minister of State for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan said:

“This project by the students from Clonakilty Community College is a fine example of young people using their skills and talents to explore how science can be used to improve the lives of people in developing countries. I particularly welcome the focus on food security, as the eradication of hunger is a cornerstone of the Irish Aid programme.

“I was struck by the innovation and potential of all the projects exhibited here today. All of these studies, ranging from wind-generated power, rainwater harvesting, food production, to studies on the transmission of tuberculosis, have the potential to make a difference to the lives of people in developing and indeed developed countries. 

“Development Aid is not just about money.  It is also about ideas and innovation and about harnessing skills to meet the challenges of the developing countries. I hope the students here today will continue to use their scientific skills to work for a more just and equal world.” 

A number of the science projects will be displayed at the Irish Aid Centre over the month of April.

Notes for the editor

  • Irish Aid is the Government’s programme for overseas development. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
  • Irish Aid hosted the Science for Development” event at the Irish Aid Volunteering and Information Centre on O’Connell Street in Dublin today (Tuesday April 5) from 10.30am-2.30pm. This event showcases the work of students who entered the Irish Aid and Self Help Africa “Science for Development” category at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition earlier this year. It also promotes innovation and science for development at second level.
  • Daniel Nyhan, Sean White and Michael McCarthy from Clonakilty Community College Co. Cork were named as the winners of the ‘Science for Development’ award at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in January. Their teacher is Mr. Patrick O’Keefe.
  • Richard O’Shea, from Blarney, County Cork, won the Irish Aid ‘Science for Development Award in 2010 and was also named overall BT Young Scientist of the Year. Richard developed a biomass fuel stove for use in developing countries. Richard will travel to Zambia at Easter with Self Help Africa to explore the practical application of his project in the field. This is part of the prize sponsored by Irish Aid.
  • In 2008 Tara McGrath, from Presentation Secondary School in Loughboy, Kilkenny, won the ‘Science for Development’ category. Tara also developed a stove for use in developing countries. Tara is now studying development in University College Cork. Tara co-facilitated today’s student workshop.

For further information or to request an interview with Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan, please contact Fionnuala Quinlan, Press Officer, Irish Aid on 01-4082653 or 087-9099975.