Science squad: Three Cork teenagers scoop first prize in EU biology contest

Three teenagers from Cork have scooped a top prize at the EU’s Young Scientist competition.

Science squad: Three Cork teenagers scoop first prize in EU biology contest

Ciara Judge, Emer Hickey, and Sophie Healy-Thow beat more than 120 students from 38 countries to win first prize in the biology section of the contest in Prague.

The schoolgirls represented Ireland after being crowned winners of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in January for their project which examined diazotroph bacteria on plant growth.

The students, who are aged 15 and 16 and attend Kinsale Community College, won €7,000 as well as an honorary award of an all-expenses-paid trip to the London International Youth Science Forum.

Ciara said they have enjoyed “an absolutely fantastic couple of months”. Just two weeks ago, she also achieved the best Junior Cert results with 12 As. And it must run in the family as her sister Aisling was Young Scientist of the Year seven years ago.

Colm O’Neill, chief executive of BT Ireland, said: “In 25 years of competing at the EU competition, Ireland has now taken home the top honours 15 times, outperforming all other countries.

“We believe this major award will add to the future career prospects for Ciara, Emer and Sophie, raise the profile of their school and teachers, and further boost the impressive international credentials of the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. The girls have done us proud.”

This project was the third time in seven years that Kinsale Community College has won the Irish Young Scientist competition.

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