A WEST Cork student has been announced as the top budding scientist in the world by Google.
Eighteen-year-old Fionn Ferreira from Ballydehob has won the 2019 Google Science Fair - the annual online science competition open to students between the ages of 13 and 18 from around the world.
The honour was announced at Google international headquarters in California.
His innovative project, entitled ‘An investigation into the removal of microplastics from water using ferrofluids’, investigated how to filter microplastics from water by using magnets.
He was one of 24 global finalists chosen from a shortlist of 100 regional entries that competed for the top prize of a $50,000 (€45,000) bursary in what is regarded by some as one of the most prestigious sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics student (STEM) competitions in the world.
Fionn is now set to attend university in the Netherlands after sitting his Leaving Cert last month at Schull Community College.
In his spare time, he works as a curator at the Schull Planetarium and has won 12 science fair awards, speaks three languages fluently, plays the trumpet at orchestra level, and has even had a minor planet named after him by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Lincoln Laboratory.
Vint Cerf, vice president at Google, said: “When Google Science Fair launched last fall, we challenged students to channel their curiosity and ingenuity invent, code, or build a solution to a problem they’re passionate about. Thousands of students participated, and this weekend we welcomed our 24 finalists—from 14 countries around the world—to Google to reveal the winners.
“These change-makers tackled issues across sustainability, healthcare, safety and accessibility. We saw impressive entries that used a variety of STEM disciplines - from using AI to help detect disease in plants to finding new ways to diagnosing heart disease. Each entry was an impressive, original contribution that has real-world implications for some of the world’s toughest problems,” he added.