High schoolers turn ideas into prizes at scientists competition

The young, aspiring scientists were awarded prizes for their work at the Knesset, where their innovative projects were lauded for their creativity.

March 22, 2017 04:12
2 minute read.
TOP WINNERS at this week’s Intel-Israel Young Scientist Competition stand behind the panel of judges

TOP WINNERS at this week’s Intel-Israel Young Scientist Competition stand behind the panel of judges as they display certificates representing scholarship awards.. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Young scientists whose innovative discoveries are inexplicable to most adults were awarded prizes for their efforts in the Knesset on Tuesday.

First prize in the Intel-Israel Young Scientist Competition held this week at Jerusalem’s Bloomfield Science Museum was shared by three teenagers – two girls and one boy – from Ashdod, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

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The winners will receive academic scholarships and be sent to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition.

In the life sciences category, Rina Sevostianov of the Makif Gimel High School in Ashdod was a first-prize winner for a “Self-Assembled Hybrid of Two Peptides into a Hydrogel with Unusual Mechanical Traits” that can be used practically in the field of tissue engineering.

She shared first-prize status with Gonen Zimmerman for his work on “Orthonormal Polynomials with the Two-Dimensional Nevai Condition,” which involved abstruse mathematics.

The third first-prize winner was Omri Ganchrow of Jerusalem’s Science and Arts High School for her work on “Linguistic Innovations in Contemporary Israeli Literature and Types of Innovation in Books by Eshkol Nevo and David Grossman.”

Second prize was shared by two pupils, Nogal Yekutieli and Dekel Roth, who studied “The Change in the Concept of Death Following the Black Plague in England” and “A Real-Time Monitoring System of Mechanical Heart Valves.”

The competition, which is sponsored by the Goren-Monti- Ferrari family of Italy, has seen scholastic achievement and quality multiply many times in its 20 years. Nearly 1,000 finalists have participated since the contest was inaugurated by Intel-Israel, its former sponsor.

The winners were announced at a Knesset ceremony attended by the head of the judges’ panel Prof. Hanoch Gutfreund and by Israel Academy of Sciences and the Humanities president Prof. Nili Cohen.

President Reuven Rivlin, who usually presents the awards, was on a state visit to Vietnam.

A total of 66 finalists – 35 girls and 31 boys ages 16 through 20 – participated and produced 49 projects.

Some of the top winners below first prize will represent Israel at an EU Young Scientists Competition.

Knesset Science and Technology Committee chairman MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) told the audience that he had no doubt they would reach many accomplishments.

“Many know researchers started just as you did. You are going along the correct path, full of many challenges on your way to achievement,” he said.

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