Bay learner shines at US science fair

2019-05-29 06:00
Shaziyah Laher from Nizamiye Al-Azhar Institute.                    Photo: SUPPLIED

Shaziyah Laher from Nizamiye Al-Azhar Institute. Photo: SUPPLIED

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THREE South African learners won prizes at the prestigious INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - one of them being Shaziyah Laher from the Nizamiye Al-Azhar Institute in Malabar.

Laher also won the fourth award of USD$500 in the Chemistry category for her project, “Organic biodegradable alternative to plastic”. The project investigated a more efficient way of making and disposing of plastic that is less harmful towards humans, animals and the environment. The results of the experiment produced a transparent, strong, biodegradable polymer.

The other winners were Hritik Mitha from Bryanston High in Johannesburg and Runé Edeling from Eunice High in the Free State.

Mitha won the USAID Second Place Award for innovation and development in the Energy and Water category. The award consisted of a cash prize of USD$3,000 prize money. Mitha’s project ‘Increasing the efficiency of solar panels by glazing’ aimed at increasing the overall energy efficiency of solar panels by modifying standard solar panels to extract the thermal energy that would otherwise be dissipated as waste heat, which also has an adverse impact on the solar panel’s electrical performance and lifespan. The project investigated whether coil and magnets will generate electrical energy using wind, as wind is an efficient, renewable and free resource.

Edeling won the fourth award of USD$500 in the Physics and Astronomy category for her project, “Using dimple technology to optimise the aerodynamics of heavy motor vehicles. The project investigates how golf-ball style dents or dimples applied on certain areas of the bodywork of a heavy truck vehicle can be used to decrease the aerodynamic drag for the purpose of increasing fuel efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Parthy Chetty, Eskom Expo Executive Director, said, “Simply making it to Intel ISEF is a major achievement for these learners. Winning at ISEF is about the best you can achieve on the international stage. Eskom Expo continues to provide this unique platform for our young scientists to pursue their dreams and we help them make their dreams a reality.

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