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Irish Teens Win Google Science Fair by Taking on Global Hunger

At 16 years old, most kids are thinking about cars and parties. The winners of the Google Science Fair — Irish teenagers Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow — were thinking about how to stamp out world hunger. They discovered that a kind of soil-dwelling bacteria called Diazotroph is able to speed up the germination process of certain grains, like barley and oats, by 50 percent. No, Google did not give them a car for their efforts, but they were named grand prize winners of the contest and given $50,000 scholarships and a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands. There were some pretty impressive teens in other categories too, like Mihir Garimella, winner of the 13-14 age category, who built a flying robot inspired by the fruit fly. Kenneth Shinozuka, 15, won the Scientific American award for building a wearable sensor for seniors like his grandfather who wander because of Alzheimer's disease. And finally, Arsh Dilbagi, 16, captured the voters' choice award by inventing Talk, a device meant to help people communicate with only their breath.

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— Keith Wagstaff