Three teenagers from Cork have joined Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai on Time magazine’s 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014 list after their victory in this year’s Google Science Fair.
The three Kinsale girls, Ciara Judge, 16, Emer Hickey, 17, and Sophie Healy-Thow, 17, won the top prize at Google after their incredible research into a bacterium which can increase crop yields by 50%.
They were declared the winners in California last month, after winning several local and European awards.
Joining them on the list are Kylie and Kendal Jenner, known for their reality show, modelling and other projects, Chloë Grace Moretz, star of Kick Ass, and Jaden Smith, referred to by Time as the 'Confucius for the Internet age' due to his unusual Tweeting style.
The list also features several teen activists and entrepreneurs from around the globe.
Ciara is speechless about making the list. "I'm over the moon. I'm still in utter disbelief.”
“To be featured on a list containing some fantastic names of people that I have looked up to for so long, even say Malala - she got a Nobel Peace Prize last week - to be on a list with her is absolutely incredible.”
The girls were alerted to their achievement by the friends they’ve made in their competition tours.
“We have friends awake at almost every hour of the night now. When they see something, they tag us in it on Facebook,” she said.
“We were tagged in one last night, and I thought it would be just another mention on another website. And then I clicked into it and I saw it was 'Time', and I was shocked. I couldn't even speak for a little while.”
The trio have retired from science competitions for the moment, but plan to turn their research into a business to help food output across the globe.
“We're not bringing it forward to any more competitions - but we're going to bring it to commercialisation, so that it can be implemented to help people.”