Roll up, roll up: Google Science Fair 2015 calls on applicants

19 Feb 2015

Last year's Google Science Fair winners, Sophie Healy-Thow, Émer Hickey and Ciara Judge with Silicon Republic CEO Ann O'Dea at last year's Women Invent Meet-up in Dublin. Photo by Conor McCabe Photography

Ireland is aiming to win big again with today being the first day for the country’s brightest to submit their science projects to this year’s Google Science Fair until the deadline of 18 May.

In its fifth year, the STEM initiative proved to be Ireland’s most successful year in the competition with Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow winning the grand prize for their project that could significantly speed up the germination process of a number of the world’s most produced crops.

In doing so, their discovery of the bacteria diazotroph could ease future food crises for generations to come.

This year, Google has formed a number of partnerships with some of the world’s largest and innovative companies and organisations to provide prizes that include US$100,000 in scholarships and classroom grants from Scientific American and Google, a National Geographic expedition to the Galapagos, an opportunity to visit Lego designers at their Denmark headquarters, and the chance to tour Virgin Galactic’s new spaceship at their Mojave Air and Spaceport.

The competition is open to students from around the world between the ages of 13 and 18 who can submit projects online across all scientific fields, from biology to computer science to anthropology and everything in between.

This year also marks the first time the Google Science Fair judges will issue an award to recognise an ‘inspiring educator’, as well as a ‘community impact award’ honouring a project that addresses an environmental or health challenge.

Inspire 2015 is Silicon Republic’s international event running 18-19 June in Dublin that connects sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM with fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic