Minister singles out Killorglin student Timothy for praise

Timothy McGrath from Killorglin Community College with Mari Cahilane of BT and Dr Tony Scott, founder of the BT Young Scientist Exhibition, at a Science for Development event hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Timothy McGrath from Killorglin Community College with Mari Cahilane of BT and Dr Tony Scott, founder of the BT Young Scientist Exhibition, at a Science for Development event hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Sinead Kelleher

An inspiring Killorglin student, who invented a water-purifying product to be used in developing countries, has been praised by Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Conveney for his work.

Timothy McGrath from Killorglin Community College was among a number of students who were commended for their innovation, drive and enthusiasm in seeking scientific solutions to problems faced by the world's poorest people.

They attended a special function in Dublin at the headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs last week. The occasion was organised by overseas development charity Self Help Africa, who brought together more than a dozen of the best student projects from this year's BT Young Scientist Expo that had sought to address challenges affecting communities in the Developing World.

These included a cooking water conservation system, a mobile phone app that detected glaucoma, and Timothy's project which aimed to help purify water. Timothy used genetic engineering to target bacteria which causes cholera, as a method for purifying water in third-world countries. His project sought to develop a micro-organism that feeds on the cholera bacteria, thus eradicating it.

The talented student even had to build his home-made microbiology and centrifuge machines to multiply DNA for the project. Timothy won the Science for Development Award, sponsored by Irish Aid, in January of this year at the BT Young Scientist competition, and he will now get to visit Africa as part of the winning prize.

Minister Coveney praised all of the exhibitors for their imagination and innovation and said that food waste, contaminated water, absence of electricity and inadequate food production were just some of the issues that scientific thinking could help to solve.

Kerryman

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