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Celebrating International Day of the Girl with Intel Mini Scientist winner Laura Van Buylaere

Dublin student who was named the winner of the Intel Mini Scientist in January 2020 shares her experience

In January 2020, 11 year old student, Laura Van Buylaere, from Alexandra College in Rathmines was named as the overall Winner of the Intel Mini Scientist competition for her project entitled ‘Carboscan’.

To coincide with International Day of the Girl on October 11th, Laura catches up with Phil Smyth – engineer, science communicator and all round STEM guru – to chat about her Mini Scientist experience and the innovative project that secured her the top prize this year.

In 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to declare October 11th as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognise girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.


About the Mini Scientist
The Intel Mini Scientist is an initiative that has been running for 14 years and which gives primary school students from 4th, 5th and 6th class, the chance to explore science through project based learning and exhibitions. The first phase of the program involves students participating at local level exhibitions where Intel judges visit the participating schools, choosing two winning projects in each. The second phase sees each of these winning projects take part in the Mini Scientist Regional Finals before the culmination of the competition at a National Grand Final which took place in January 2020.

It was at this Grand Final event that Laura was named the overall winner of the Intel Mini Scientist, a competition in which over 7,000 students from 105 schools in 18 counties across Ireland took part in this year.

Laura’s Carboscan project is an innovative app enabling people to track their carbon footprint on a daily basis and view the grams of CO2 equivalent for all the products they purchase by simply scanning the product’s commercial barcode. The app sums each product’s CO2 eq contribution and shows clear charts to demonstrate weekly and monthly reviews with information about the user’s personal carbon footprint. From the app, it is also possible to join the Carboscan e-community and users can share, on a social media platform, the amount of grams of CO2 eq they have generated. Carboscan was devised to raise people’s awareness and change their daily habits by motivating them to buy more eco friendly products, all in a fun way.


Mini Scientist 2020
Given the challenges presented by COVID-19, this year’s Mini Scientist program has been revised and will take a different approach. Schools who have previously participated in the Intel Mini Scientist will be contacted directly and invited to take part in this year’s program.

If you are a new school who would like to take part, please contact:

Please visit to find out more about the initiative.


Additional information about Intel is available at:

Web – |  Twitter – @Intel_IRL  |  Facebook – Intel Ireland

Media contact: Sarah Sexton |  | + 353 1 606 8537 

About Intel

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