Three Karmiel high school boys shared first prize with another team in the Intel-Israel Young Scientists Competition in the Knesset on Tuesday for their project on a system for immediate extinguishing of seaborne tanker oil fires.

Avi Dovovsky, Roi Shafran and Tamar Hamud of the ORT Psagot school will get college scholarships and represent Israel in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair to be held in Los Angeles in May.

Such oil spills cause severe environmental damage and financial loss, and treatment of spills takes a long time.

According to the high school pupils’ idea, a computerized system will be placed on every tanker and identify a leak immediately. According to the rate of flow, the system will release materials to bring a halt to the leak and chemicals that promote the breakdown of the oil released into the water.

Yarden Lichterman of the Jerusalem School for the Sciences and the Arts was co-winner of the first prize. He wrote about the “Canaanite ideology in the works of the Polish- born Uriel Heilperin” – who changed his family name to Halperin, then to Shelach, and whose pen name was “Yonatan Ratosh.”

The family immigrated to Mandatory Palestine in 1921.

When he grew up, Heilperin (1908-1981) was active in right-wing underground organizations and wrote political and poetic works, as well as Revisionist newspaper articles.

His controversial ideas included calling on the members of the Yishuv pre-state community to renounce their Jewish roots and call themselves Young Hebrews or “Canaanites.”

Second place was shared by Daniel Yoskovich, of the same Jerusalem high school, who found a connection between the genetic disease Gaucher, in which fat accumulates in various bodily organs, and early- onset Parkinson’s disease.

The other second-place winner was Shahar Zilberstein of the Beersheba Comprehensive Municipal High School, who found new solutions to geometric problems involving triangles.

She will travel to the ISEF mathematics competition.

The third-place prize went to Hana Mualem, a teenage boy from the Baptist School in Nazareth, who developed improved “pinhole glasses” that help the visually impaired (with refraction errors in their corneas) read and watch television; the improvements involved a wider field of vision and better optics.

Ten teams won honorable mentions. It was the 17th annual competition of young scientists to be held at the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem.

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