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Minister of State McHugh presents Science for Development Award at BTYSTE

Development Education, Education, Agriculture, News/feature, Ireland, 2017


Minister of State Joe McHugh presents Science for Development Award

at BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2017


Jack O’Connor and Diarmuid Curtin Win Award for "Ergonomic Planter" Project


Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh TD, has this evening presented the Irish Aid-sponsored ‘Science for Development’ Award to Jack O’Connor and Diarmuid Curtin from Desmond College Limerick at this year’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. Jack O’Connor and Diarmuid Curtinwon the Award for their “Ergonomic Planter” project. 


Speaking from the RDS, Minister of State McHugh commented:


“I congratulate Jack O’Connor and Diarmuid Curtin on all their hard work and on the excellent project which deservedly won the Science for Development Award. I also congratulate all the other students who have produced really impressive projects on global development-related themes.”


For over 50 years the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition has played an integral role in encouraging Ireland’s young people to realise their full scientific potential. The Minister said:

“I was really inspired meeting students on my visit around the exhibition today.  It is wonderful to see young people using their time and scientific expertise to question, explore and examine how to improve the lives of the most vulnerable.

“I am delighted to support an award which encourages teachers and students to develop ideas to reduce poverty and promote social justice in the Global South.

“I see real value here in harnessing the technological innovation and creativity of our young people to support sustainable development.”





Press Office

13 January 2017



Notes for Editors:


The annual BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition is attended by over 60,000 people including members of the public as well as students and teachers from across Ireland. This year marks the 53rd year of the exhibition, making it one of the longest standing exhibitions of its kind in the world. This year the competition received the most entries ever with 2,091 projects. The exhibition will incorporate the 550 secondary school student projects that were shortlisted from over 2,000 entries for display at the event.


Irish Aid, WorldWise Global Schools and Gorta-Self Help Africa jointly sponsor a special category award known as the Science for Development Award. Irish Aid provides €5,000 towards the award through WorldWise Global Schools which coordinates Irish Aid support for Development Education to post-primary schools. WorldWise Global Schools is implemented on behalf of Irish Aid by a consortium led by Gorta-Self Help Africa together with the City of Dublin Education and Training Board and Concern Worldwide.

This is the twelfth year that Irish Aid has sponsored the Science for Development Award. The award aims to encourage teachers and students to develop ideas, using appropriate scientific technology that may prove useful at local community level in the Global South, to reduce poverty and promote social justice. This can give the students a greater insight into the wider world, and their role as global citizens.

The winners of the award 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 a country in Africa, in association with Gorta-Self Help Africa. In 2016 three students from Salesian College Celbridge - Ruaidhrí Jordan, Ben Conlon and Mason Scallon - won the Award for their project on the Preservation of Water Supplies Using Hygroscopic Polymers.