Our Lady’s Bower was very proud to receive communication recently for Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Mr Col Brophy TD. Minister Brophy wrote to congratulate 1st Year student Michelle Hughes and her teacher Ms Ellen Maguire on Michelle’s project in this year’s BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition final. Minister Brophy was very impressed with Michelle’s entry entitled “Blooming Good Algae”.

Waste water from farms contains nitrates and phosphates, which if they get into rivers or lakes can cause serious pollution. Michelle developed a process for removing the nitrates and phosphates using algae. Her method is environmentally, easy to use, effective and cheap. The algae can then be reused as a fertiliser afterwards.

The project has been highlighted as a contender for the Irish Aid/Self Help Africa Science for Development Award. The purpose of this award it to encourage students to develop ideas using appropriate scientific technology, which may prove useful at community level in the Global South.

It is hoped that a showcase event will be held in Iveagh House later in the year which will give Michelle the opportunity to discuss her project with Minister Brophy.