Minister for Overseas Development Aid and the Diaspora, Colm Brophy T.D., today presented Aronnya Khan Zakaria with the Science for Development Award, part of the online BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition 2021.
Minister Brophy said:
“Every year, students across Ireland apply their minds to develop technologies which can be used to improve the lives of people in some of the world’s poorest countries. This year is no different.
I am delighted to congratulate Aronnya on her excellent project which deservedly won the Science for Development Award this year. Its focus on the development of racial prejudice in children is an important issue and I’m glad to see Aronnya’s hard work on this recognised with this Award.
I also congratulate all the other students who produced projects relating to international development. It is remarkable how many excellent projects were developed under difficult circumstances this year. Credit is due to the students, their teachers and to the organisers of the exhibition for delivering a virtual event this year. It is inspiring to see young people explore how science can make the world a safer and healthier place”.
Irish Aid, the Government’s international development programme managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs, together with Self Help Africa organise the Science for Development Award. The Award encourages teachers and students to develop technology that could prove useful at local community level in some of the world’s poorest countries. The winners receive a €6,000 bursary to enable a fact-finding/field testing visit together with their teacher to a country in Africa. The field trip for the 2021 winners will take place at a time when public health advice is that it is safe to travel.
This year’s winning project is entitled “The development of racial prejudice in children: a statistical analysis on the influence of society and home life on a child’s thoughts and attitudes towards racism”.
8TH JANUARY 2021
Notes for Editors
BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition
2021 marks the 57th year of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, making it one of the longest standing exhibitions of its kind in the world. This year the exhibition took place online for the first time. 550 projects were shortlisted for the virtual exhibition.
Science for Development Award
Irish Aid, the Government’s international development cooperation programme managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs, together with Irish NGO Self Help Africa organise a special category award at the Exhibition, known as the Science for Development Award. This is the sixteenth year of Irish Aid funding of this Award.
The Award aims to encourage teachers and students to develop ideas, using appropriate scientific technology that may prove useful at local community level to reduce poverty and promote social justice in some of the world’s poorest countries. Preparing their entries 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 together with a €6,000 bursary to allow the students with their teacher to travel on a fact-finding/field testing visit to a country in Africa, in association with Self Help Africa.
The 2020 winners were Salome Maher Bordalo and Sophie McElligott of St. Joseph’s Mercy Secondary School, Navan, with their project called ‘Period’. The students were concerned that many girls, especially in poorer countries, miss school during their periods because they do not have access to sanitary products. They created an ethical period product which would be cheap and easy to produce but which would also have minimum effect on the environment. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, they will not now travel to Africa early this year as planned but will travel at a later date.
The 2019 winner was Seán Byrne from Avondale Community College in County Wicklow. Seán's project explored the use of a low cost eggshell filtration system to remove heavy metal pollutants from water. The system has the added benefit of removing microplastics from the water at the same time. Seán travelled to Zambia with Self Help Africa in early 2020 to field test the invention.