Three Irish teenagers are taking on global hunger with bacteria

Three Irish teenagers are taking on global hunger with bacteria

Google has announced the winners of its annual international science fair, which features the work of students between the age of 13 and 18. However, this is nothing like your usual science fair where a bunch of kids make a low-power battery, the Google Science Fair is prestigious and attracts teenagers with some pretty amazing projects.

This year’s Grand Prize went to a team of three 16-year-old girls from Ireland: Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey, and Sophie Healy-Thow. The group’s project, called “Combating the Global Food Crisis: Diazotroph Bacteria as a Cereal Crop Growth Promoter”, explored how different bacterial strains could be used to shorten the germination time of cereal crops like oats and barley.

The world is quite possibly on the precipice of a global food crisis due to a number of factors, such as climate change threatening several food crops and the increasing demand for food thanks to rapid population growth. In order to combat these threats, improving both the durability and the output of our food crops is becoming much more important.

As a reward for winning the prize, the three girls will spend 10 days in the Galapagos Islands from National Geographic Expeditions, receive a $50,000 scholarship, a behind-the-scenes tour of Virgin Galactic Spaceport, a prize pack from LEGO, and one of three experiences offered by LEGO, NatGeo, and Google.

Read more about the story at National Geographic.

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