The first and second prizewinners of Israel's Intel Young Scientists Competition have won second and fourth place in the International Intel Young Scientists Competition, in which they were pitted against 1,400 teenagers from 47 countries.
Raphael Ouzan, a graduate of Jerusalem's Boys Town, received the top honors at the national competition at Jerusalem's Bloomfield Museum of Science on March 14 for his development of a system that detects and follows the movement of an intruder.
Over the weekend, at the worldwide Intel competition in Indianapolis, he won the prestigious second prize in the field of computer sciences. He is now serving in the Israel Defense Forces, but was allowed to travel to the event.
Esther Postalnik, a pupil at the Jerusalem High School for the Arts and Sciences, won second place in Jerusalem for her work on conceptual delusions in schizophrenics. She found that people with this psychiatric disorder suffer from harm to the functioning of connections among neurons in brain regions responsible for processing of visual information in the outer layer of the brain. Postalnik won the fourth prize in social sciences in Indianapolis, as well as a special certificate of merit from the American Association for Intellectual Property.
Intel's international competition is the largest and most prestigious event in which teenagers around the world compete on the basis of their scientific research. The two Israelis each received $1,000.
Intel-Jerusalem managing director Yitzhak Ohayon said that their achievements bring much honor to Israel and underline the importance that must be given to investment in science studies for young people. "We in Intel believe that for Israeli hi-tech industries to continue to flourish, youngsters must be encouraged to choose professions in science and technology. The competition is a valuable educational and scientific project for encouraging excellence, and I am sure the two winners will go far," he said.