Scientific solutions to some of the biggest global development challenges were the focus of a recent showcase hosted at the headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin.
Hosted by Self Help Africa and Irish Aid, the annual science for development event brought together a dozen leading student projects from this year’s BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition.
Ciarán Cannon, International Development Minister, launched the event by congratulating the students on their achievements, and lauded their efforts to find solutions to global challenges. “All students here today are committed global citizens who care about the planet and the people that are on it,” he said.
Speaking at the event, the founder of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition Dr. Tony Scott praised the participating projects for their application of science to achieve a better and more sustainable world.
Projects ranged from a cost-effective water filtration system to an App designed to detect and predict crop disease, and a solar powered device delivering education in refugee camps. Representatives from development, education, science and technology sectors interacted with students to learn about their projects and give their expert advice to help them improve their inventions.
This year’s Science for Development Award winner Séan Byrne displayed his award-winning project: an eggshell filtration system deviced to remove pollutants from water: “this event is a great opportunity for me to learn from the speakers, and from the other students. I’m really enjoying it,” he said.
Each year, the winner of the Science for Development Award wins an Irish Aid sponsored bursary to go on a study trip to Africa with Self Help Africa. Timothy McGrath, who won the award last year and subsequently travelled to Uganda, spoke to the crowd about his recent trip which he described as ‘eye-opening’.
Concluding the event, Self Help Africa’s CEO Ray Jordan encouraged the students to continue with their development focus, saying that they had the power to create change on a global scale.