Teens purify water with microwave, win Young Scientists prize

Inexpensive technique can be adapted to commercial use, prizewinners tell The Jerusalem Post.

intel young scientists microwave 248 88 (photo credit: Judy Siegel)
intel young scientists microwave 248 88
(photo credit: Judy Siegel)
Two teenage boys who used a home microwave oven and dried Fistia and Salvinia aquatic plants to remove most of the lead contaminants from water were awarded first prize Wednesday in the Intel Young Scientists Competition. Shahar Gvirtz and Yadid Algawi of the Dan Region Amit School, received their certificates for university scholarships from President Shimon Peres at Beit Hanassi. They will also represent Israel at the International Intel Young Scientists Competition, to be held in May in the US. The inexpensive technique, for which they used an ordinary microwave oven, can be adapted to commercial use, including the cleaning of waste water for industry, urban gardening, agriculture and electric power production, they told The Jerusalem Post, as they presented their project to the judges' panel on Tuesday. They were chosen from among 52 teenagers who presented 40 projects that included nanotechnology, DNA research, robots, comets and mathematical constructions. The 12th annual competition was sponsored by Intel-Israel, Jerusalem's Bloomfield Museum of Science and the Education Ministry. After seeing all the projects and interviewing their developers, the judges, headed by Hebrew University Prof. Hanoch Gutfreund, decided on the winners, all of whose projects had practical applications. Two projects shared second prize, while third prize was awarded to three other projects.