Sarah Flaherty’s work as an aspiring leader in STEM fields has received national and international honours. She encourages those interested in the STEM fields to persevere, cultivate curiosity, and seek out challenges.
Sarah’s involvement with STEM projects began in elementary school. As a twin, with two younger identical twin brothers, she was inspired to conduct a study into twin psychology. Following success at her regional science fair (BASEF), she proceeded to compete at the Canada Wide Science Fair. This early experience motivated Sarah to make further efforts in the sciences.
In ninth grade, Sarah developed a simple and inexpensive cloth water filter to improve the application of the SODIS water treatment method (commonly used in developing countries to provide potable water). She presented this innovation at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, where it was recognized by Google as the project with the most potential to bring about positive change to the global community. Sarah further collaborated with UNICEF to translate her work to the real world, and conducted further research into factors influencing the success of SODIS projects.
Sarah has conducted further research in the fields of immunology and microbiology, working at a McMaster University laboratory. She returned to INTEL ISEF in 2013, representing Canada with research into the mechanisms of communication between probiotic bacteria and the human immune system.
In addition to her success in the sciences, Sarah is a leader in the community. She is a committed volunteer in the field of recreation for those with disabilities, acting as a camp and ski instructor for children with disabilities. She is herself a successful athlete, competing as an alpine ski racer, water polo player and runner. She also plays guitar, flute and trombone in various music ensembles.
At age 15, Sarah was named one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 by Youth in Motion for her leadership in the sciences and her community.
Sarah graduated from the Ontario French Immersion and International Baccalaureate diploma programs in 2014. She is currently entering her first year at Cambridge University in England as an undergraduate. There, her study of Natural Sciences will be funded by the Blyth Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarship. Following her degree, she intends to pursue a career in medicine and medical research.
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