Young Scientists 311.
(photo credit: Judy Siegel Itzkovitch)
The levels of high school pupils’ understanding in medicine, mathematics, life
and environmental sciences, computers, technology, history and social sciences
in the Intel-Israel Young Scientists Competition have risen unrecognizably in
the last 14 years.
So agreed this year’s judging panel, headed by
world-renowned Hebrew University physicist and Albert Einstein expert Prof.
Hanoch Gutfreund, who went from one teen or group to another, listening to their
explanations and examining poster displays and homemade models at Jerusalem’s
Bloomfield Science Museum on Tuesday.
The panel will announce on
Wednesday who among the 60 finalists will receive the top three prizes –
university scholarships in the fields of their choice. President Shimon Peres
will congratulate the winners at a ceremony at the Hebrew University in the
High achievers will also represent Israel in Intel’s
International Science and Engineering Fair abroad in a few months and have the
chance to participate in the European Union Content for Young Scientists. Those
with the most original and applicable ideas could end up with patent
applications that might make them a profit out of their projects.
the potential Intel-Israel winners are Gal Oren and Nerya Stroh of the Jerusalem
College of Technology Torah & Science Yeshiva High School, who last year
received one of the five top prizes in the Stockholm Junior Water Prize and were
cited by Sweden’s ambassador to Israel for their invention of device that
measures household water consumption to detect dripping and avoid
Intel-Israel’s Yishai Fraenkel, a judge in the competition, held
to mark National Science Week and the anniversary of Einstein’s birth, said that
he was very pleased by the high standards shown by the teenagers.
why this was the first Intel-Israel Young Scientists Competition in many years
not to include a single Arab as a finalist, Fraenkel said he regretted this but
said clearly that there were no politics or other such reasons why a fifth of
the Israeli population had no representation this year. He hoped high-achieving
Arab youths would return in the 15th competition in 2012.
In this year’s
competition, teenagers were given considerably more exhibition space in the
museum’s newer branch and were able to explain the principles of their findings
more comfortably. The two halls that were last used for The Deep undersea
creature exhibition were divided by category – humanities, social sciences,
mathematics and computers, natural sciences, medicine and other fields – thus
making comparisons of the student exhibits easier.
Among the projects
displayed was a study of the effects of extreme diets on pregnant mice and the
effects in their offspring, which found that mice on a high-fat diet, for
example, were much less likely to become pregnant in the first place.
Lod pupil examined electrical failures and irregular heartbeat in infants, while
a team from Ma’aleh Adumim devised a piping system that conserves water that
usually would go down the drain while waiting until baths or showers became hot,
by returning water that’s not heated enough back to its source.
was an expert in Prolog computer language, while a team of three designed a
robot model that could act as a waiter to serve the disabled.
A team of
high school pupils have become the first ever to get permission from the Israeli
authorities to launch their own mini-satellite – just 10 centimeters in each
dimension – into the upper atmosphere.
In a fitting subject for the day
when everyone around the country was asked to take five minutes to remember
Gilad Schalit’s five years in which the soldier has been held in Gaza, one pupil
investigated religious and secular views on exchanging terrorists for Israeli