2014 Google Science Fair winners

2014 Google Science Fair Grand Prize winners Emer Hickey, Sophie Healy-Thow and Ciara Judge, of Ireland, developed a natural process to speed up crop production.

Google

An inspiring lineup of innovative teens from around the world have been declared the winners of the 2014 Google Science Fair. It's an online science competition where students are challenged to use technology and scientific know-how to make the world a better place.

The winners of the Grand Prize: A team of three 16 -year-old girls from Ireland, who also placed first in the 15-16 age group. Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow developed their winning project after learning about the famine in the Horn of Africa 2011. They discovered bacteria called Diazotroph that naturally occur in soil, and found that they could be used to speed up the germination process of certain crops such as barley and oats by 50 percent, which could potentially help combat the issue of worldwide food shortages.

As the Grand Prize winners, the girls will share a $50,000 scholarship from Google, a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands, and a chance to participate in astronaut training. Their school will also receive a $10,000 grant for science or computer equipment.


Mihir Garimella, a 14-year-old from Pennsylvania, was the winner in the 13-14 age group for his project FlyBot: Mimicking Fruit Fly Response Patterns for Threat Evasion. Mihir built a flying robot which could be used for search and rescue missions in collapsed buildings. The idea for the robot was inspired by the way fruit flies detect and respond to threats.


Haley Todesco, a 17-year-old from Alberta, Canada, won in the 17-18 age group category. Her project involves the use of a sustainable and efficient method to break down pollutants and toxins in oil sands tailings, an environmentally hazardous byproduct of oil production in her hometown.


Kenneth Shinozuka, a 15-year-old from Brooklyn, New York, won The Scientific American Science in Action Award -- given to a project that addresses a health, resource or environmental challenge -- for inventing low-cost wearable sensor technology for patients with dementia. It provides real-time detection and sends alerts when patients wander out of bed. Kenneth was inspired by his grandfather, who suffers from Alzheimer's, and hopes that his project will help other families dealing with the disease.


Arsh Dilbagi, a 16-year-old from India, won Voters' Choice Award for his project, Talk. He developed a device that allows people with speech difficulties to communicate by exhaling.