Science Students Continue Winning Ways

Self Help AfricaAgriculture & Nutrition, Development Education, News

Student winners of Self Help Africa’s 2023 ‘Science for Development Award’ continued on their winning roll, when they were awarded two further prestigious schools prizes for their research projects, this year.

Vedh Kannan and Will Carkner from Sutton Park began their prize-winning run when they collected the Irish Aid sponsored ‘Science for Development Award’ for their malaria diagnostic ‘BloodBox,’ at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, last January.

And the successes continued when, joined by classmate Thomas Forbes, the north Dublin students receives the 2023 ‘Young Economist of the Year’ award for a research project on the ‘Potential for Congestion Pricing in Irish Cities,’ and then Vedh Kannan turned his focus back to medicine, to receive  the overall prize at this year’s SciFest for a project: ‘Counting on a Cure: Using Mathematics to Target Metastatic Cancer Growth’. 

Vedh wil now compete for the SciFest STEM Champion Award of 2023 at the national finals of that competition, in November.

The two Sutton Park boys won this year’s Self Help Africa prize at the BT Young Scientist Expo for ‘Bloodbox,’ which they describe as a diagnostic tool that has a potential application as a low cost solution to detecting malaria and other similar blood borne diseases.

They received the award at the 2023 science fair together with a €7,000 Irish Aid bursary to travel with Self Help Africa on a schools study visit to Africa. The boys were commended for their work by Minister of State Sean Fleming , who said that their project was a wonderful example of how young people could use science to create a better and more sustainable world for all. The Sutton Park students were “an example of young people pursuing and researching ideas to improve societies at home and abroad,” the Minister said.

Vedh and Will, together with their Sutton Park science teacher Joanne Hanratty are scheduled to travel this Autumn on a science students study visit to Africa, where they will be accompanied by student and teachers who were the 2020, 2021 and 2022 winners of the ‘Science for Development’ prize, but did not participate in a schools visit because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions that were in place.

The ‘Science for Development Award’ is a competition that has been devised by Self Help Africa’s Global Citizenship Education programme to promote and encourage students to look to global development challenges when they are devising projects for the annual BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. It is sponsored annually by Irish Aid.

Find out more about the award at