Derry schoolgirl and inventor appears in Ms Monopoly advert

St Mary's College pupil Ava Canney has been named one of the 25 brightest young minds in the world.
St Mary's College pupil Ava Canney has been named one of the 25 brightest young minds in the world.

A Derry schoolgirl has appeared in an advert to promote a new Monopoly game which celebrates female inventors and entrepreneurs.

A Derry schoolgirl has appeared in an advert to promote a new Monopoly game which celebrates female inventors and entrepreneurs.

Ava Canney, at the tender age of 16, is a trailblazer in the world of science and was selected as one of the 25 brightest young minds in the world.

She was also a runner up in the Young Scientist Competition and took part in the Big Bang competition for young scientists and engineers.

Ava developed her love of science at St Mary’s College and now has aspirations of a career in science or engineering. She said: “Science has opened up so many doors and the school are always raising awareness about STEM subjects and female empowerment in STEM.”

Ava is now appearing on an advert for a new version of Monopoly, called ‘Ms Monopoly’.

Properties on the famous board game are replaced by groundbreaking inventions and innovations made possible by women throughout history.

Ava was nominated by her science teacher to take part after Hasbro got in touch with the school.

“I was on holiday lying beside the pool when we got a call from Hasbro inviting me for an interview. I did the interview via Skype after we returned from holiday and it gave me an opportunity to talk about my project.”

Ava has created a spectrophotometer which she has used to determine the active ingredients in medication.

She has also previously created a device which allows her to examine harmful synthetic dyes in soft drinks and sweets.

After a second interview, Ava was told she was one of three young female inventors from around the world who had been selected to appear in an advert promoting the game.

“It was totally surreal. I am involved with so many different things in school, from public speaking, to the choir and orchestra. I just thought this would be another average school day in my life, but it was anything but.”

Ava said she felt like a Hollywood star as a film crew followed her around for the day.

However the biggest surprise of all came during filming when Ava was asked to open a copy of the game and received a letter informing her she had received substantial funding to further her project.

“It gave me such a boost. I am going to save the money for the future and use it for a degree or masters degree in science. I don’t know exactly what area I want to go into yet, but I am looking at universities in America because there are so many opportunities there.”

The advert for Ms Monopoly has featured on major channels in America and a fuller version of Ava’s story will be on the Hasbro website in the coming days.