Skip to main content

This content from the Department of Foreign Affairs has moved to

Science for Development Award 2015

Education, News/feature, Ireland, 2015
Science for Development Award 2015

Minister Seán Sherlock presents the Science for Development Award to the 2015 winners, Megan Duffy and Zoe McGirr.

BT Young Scientist “Science for Development” award winners announced

On Friday the 9th of January, Megan Duffy and Zoe McGirr from Oakgrove College Derry won the “Science for Development” award with their project on a seed harvesting kit for subsistence farmers. The award, sponsored by Irish Aid WorldWise Global Schools and Gorta Self Help Africa, was presented by Minister Seán Sherlock at a special ceremony in the RDS Dublin.

Minister Sherlock said it was “wonderful to see young people dedicating their time, energy and scientific knowledge to question explore and examine how to improve the lives of the most vulnerable.”

“This in turns creates a fairer, more just and equal world; all of which are key goals of Irish Aid, the Government’s programme for overseas assistance. Scientific and technological know-how and innovation as well as creativity are vital for sustainable development,” he added.

This is the tenth year that Irish Aid has sponsored the award, which aims to encourage teachers and students to develop ideas for the application of simple yet clever technology which would reduce poverty and promote social justice in local communities in developing nations.

The competition also aims to give the students a greater insight into the wider world, and their role as global citizens. Award winners receive a perpetual trophy and a €5,000 bursary for one student and one teacher to travel on a fact-finding/field testing visit to an African country, in association with Gorta-Self Help Africa.

In 2014 Emily Lecky and Zoe Chesire from Ballyclare High School in Antrim won the ‘Science for Development Award’. Their winning project, a solar powered water sanitation furnace made with tinfoil and plastic drinking bottles, was designed to be used in humanitarian emergencies and in regions with poor sanitation.

Irish Aid funds the €5,000 bursary prize through WorldWise Global Schools, the national programme of support for development education at post-primary level. The other award sponsor is Gorta’s Self Help Africa, whose goal is for a prosperous rural Africa where smallholder farmers and their families thrive.

For more information see

For more information on Gorta-Self Help Africa go to