With just three finalists present among 1,549 students from 70 countries, regions and territories two Pakistani teenagers managed to snag a fourth place and $500 cash award at the Grand Awards Ceremony of the Intel International Science and Engineering, assembled in Pittsburgh at David L. Lawrence Convention Center, waving colorful flags and posters. The project titled “Energy Square for Cattle” by Mahnoor Hassan and Shiza Gulab of the Institute of Computer and Management Sciences in Peshawar took fourth prize in the Animal Sciences Category. Mahnoor and Shiza were there to collect the prize for their project. They explained that their project is good for all livestock in times of natural disaster. “People think of themselves in times of disaster before animals,” said Shiza, while referring to last year’s floods in Pakistan. “This square will make it easier to look out for the well-being of live-stock,” she added.
The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public, is the world's largest pre-college science fair competition. Each year, approximately 7 million high school students around the globe develop original research projects and present their work at local science fairs. Those who are selected at regional and national science fairs are invited to participate in Intel ISEF. At this week-long celebration of science, technology, engineering and math, students share ideas, showcase cutting-edge research, and compete for more than USD 3 million in awards and scholarships.
As Pakistan is an agricultural country and depends on livestock, their project was also focused on problems that are prevalent these days in the country. Energy Square is a balanced diet that can be given to cattle in disasters and uncertain situations when food is not available. Moreover, if it is given to the cattle with regular food it can control diseases and increases milk production. The girls said that just a few licks of their energy square every day controlled diseases, increased milk production and increased weight of cattle after just 28 days. The square is a dry mix of variety of ingredients, such as mulberry, urea and calcium, which provide vitamins and protein to the animal. “Because people who have animals are usually poor, we have created an affordable option for them,” said Shiza Gulab.
Both the girls were on their first trip to US and said they enjoyed the event because of the people around them. “People here are nice, they all have smiling faces,” said Mahnoor. While expressing their excitement and joy on their success, Shiza Gulab said, “When our names were announced our joy knew no bounds, we were so excited and thanked ALLAH for giving us such a great reward for our efforts. We were so excited to have made our country and our family proud”.
They achieved incredible confidence and information by participating at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and discovered a whole new world. They felt extremely proud to be a part of this prestigious event. In future, they want to study medicine. They are very determined and eager to promote their research throughout the country.
Ambreen Bibi and Mehwish Ghafoor
at the Grand Award Ceremony
of Intel International Science
and Engineering Fair, 2011
This year more than 1500 young innovators and scientists were selected from 65 countries to participate in Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held in Los Angeles, California from May 8th -13th, 2011. A dynamic duo of young scientists Ambreen Bibi and Mehwish Ghafoor from Federal Government College for Women, G-10/4 Islamabad, exhibited their research project titled "Degradation of Environmental Pollutants using Nano Composites" under Environmental Sciences Category and won accolades for Pakistan by securing 3rd position, they were also awarded cash prize of US $1,000.
The project focused on one of the major crisis prevailing globally; the need for clean drinking water, the students gathered water samples and conducted various experiments using nano particles of cerium sulphate and manganese nitrate to reduce pollutant count. The results were amazing; they successfully cut down the pollutant count in sewage water and made it drinkable.
They gained tremendous confidence and experience at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, their newfound love for science and research has sparked curiosity to find solutions for global challenges faced by humanity. Ambreen Bibi aspires to be a doctor and Mehwish Ghafoor wants to pursue research in sciences.
“The most important lesson that I learned at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair is to work voluntarily and help the community at large, I definitely would like to engage in such activities in future”
, said Mehwish after her experience at Intel ISEF.
The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2008 was held in Atlanta Georgia, where once again Pakistan beamed with pride at its young scientists. Three bright students from Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Karachi, presented their project titled
“Novel Drug Therapy of Silver Nano Particles to cure M.R.S.A infections”
. The 12
grader, Sara Moez Ali, Zahra Suleman Tejani and Arif Pyarali conducted rigorous experiments to develop a cure for infectious diseases without affecting the surrounding cells. The project, one among many, won the first position cash prize US$1,000 by the American Intellectual Property Law Association.
The students feel that they have gained immense confidence and exposure during the entire exercise of the Science Olympiads, all the way up to the international level. All three are grateful to their mentors and teachers who guided and supported them throughout their intensive journey. The children were extremely excited and proud to be representing Pakistan on the international platform.
Kulsum Bilal is a smart and hard working student at Govt. Kinnaird High School in Lahore, Pakistan. Despite being just 13 years of age, she has made her family and country proud by winning at the Intel ISEF 2007. Her project entitled ‘Feasibility and Recycling of Chicken Feathers into Paper Products’ was an exciting exercise for Kulsum, who recycled chicken feathers (which are available in abundance in a country like Pakistan) into paper, and then determined whether products made from this paper are resilient enough to be used to make products.
Kulsum was awarded the Second Prize in Environmental Management ($1,500) but more than that she feels that the experience and confidence she has gained the past few months was great learning for her. ‘I never thought I would reach the international competition, as some of the projects from Pakistan were just so good. And to me winning the national and international fairs was a dream come true. I met so many nice students and made a lot of friends’ says Kulsum.
For Fatima Shami, this was her second time at the Intel ISEF. She was a finalist in 2005, and was more determined and focused in 2007, when she competed with her project entitled ‘Device for Speech Impaired and Deaf (D-S.I.D) Life changing communication (an alternative to sign language)’.
Participating in extra curricular activities related to science is something that Fatima enjoys. She has been working on science projects since she was 4, and her parents and other family members have encouraged her immensely, so she attributes her winning the ‘Alternate Scholarship winners, University of New Mexico’ to their support and sheer hard work. She would like to become a doctor one day, to help as many unfortunate people in this world as possible.
The Intel International Science & Engineering Fair 2006 was held in Indianapolis, Indiana from May 7 to 13. For the first time in Pakistan’s history, a student won at the Intel ISEF!
Hamza Sheikh is a student of grade 9 at the Headstart School in Islamabad. His project was entitled “Is Pea Flour an Effective Insecticide against the Stored Grain Pests?”.
Hamza’s interest in the project developed after reading a story on the internet. He conducted his research with the help of his mentor Dr. Lal Khan and with his mother’s full support. Hamza’s excitement grew as he crossed various stages within the Pakistan round and finally won at the National Science Olympiad in March. Hamza was more and more determined to win at the Intel ISEF – and he did!
Hamza Sheikh won the second prize of US$1,500 in his category, Chemistry, and has the honor of having one of the approximately 500 asteroids named after him. The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry also awarded him a Special Award, which is a one-year student membership to the Society.
In Hamza’s own words, “Participating at the Intel ISEF has been a wonderful experience. I have never been this happy before in my entire life. The Intel ISEF was not just a competition for me but it was a whole new world of learning and enjoyment”.