Intel ISEF 2008, Atlanta
The Intel International Science & Engineering Fair 2008, the world's largest pre-college science fair was held from 11-16 May at Atlanta, Georgia. Awards were being given to the selected participants from more than 1,550 young scientists from 51 countries, regions and territories for their commitment to innovation and science. Pakistan sent three outstanding projects and four young and excited participants.
In addition to the Intel awards, other honors were given by professional organizations, corporations, colleges and universities, and branches of government. The Pakistan team project made by Zahra Suleman Tejani, Sara Moiz Ali and Arif Pyarali, of Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Karachi were awarded first position cash award of a thousand dollars by the American Intellectual Property Law Association for their project “Novel Drug Therapy of Silver Nano Particles to cure M.R.S.A infections”. Their project was one of the many ranging from Biological Fuel Cells and Vortex Generators to high-level research on Expansion on the Effects of Magnetism on Cell Stimulation and T-Cell Development to Identification and Assessment of Immature Cardiac Cells and the cure of MRSA.
It was interesting to see that many of the projects dealt with environmental issues, to raise consciousness and awareness among the youth about the solution of the growing ecologic and environmental problems of the world. Intel ISEF provides opportunity to students from around the globe to meet the inspired and ingenious, and to channel their energies and knowledge into constructive and practical research – building towards a better tomorrow. The students compete for the best place but each of them goes back home happy, as students from different regions come together and share and discuss common problems. The children are given the opportunity to obtain a rich international, cultural and intellectual experience.
Raja Ahsan Mehmood, a bright young student of Pak Turk International School & College, Peshawar, developed a Variable Color Thermometer as his project which was one of the finalists from Pakistan. Earlier in April 2008 he participated in theInternational Environmental Project Olympiad (INEPO –Eurasia)
held at Baku, Azerbaijan. The INEPO Eurasia encourages youngsters of the world who share the spirit to protect the environment get together and find answers for these complex issues. Here the bright young man came third and won the Bronze medal for his project. Raja Ahsan, also participated in the Dreamline International Design Olympiad held at Ankara, Turkey from 11-14 April, 2008. Here too, he came second amongst diverse competition and won silver medal and Special Jury's Award. The
hopes to serve humanity by inspiring students to come forward and design new products and inventions. Ahsan while reflecting on his participation experience at ISEF said,
"I want to do something for humanity and for my country, Intel ISEF is the best place to get inspiration from around the world".
A remarkable feature of the Intel ISEF 2008 was that 48% of the competing students were girls, other than the fact that all the three grand winners this year are also female, reflecting a positive growth in science education. It is worth mentioning here that Pakistani female students are also contributing in the quest for scientific innovation and research. National Science Fair participants had the opportunity to compete at the Korea International Women Invention Exposition 2008, held from 5-10 May, 2008, nominated by National Commission on Biotechnology, secured one gold, one silver and two bronze medals.
Mahrukh Tanweer, of Defence Degree College for Women, DHA, Lahore won gold medal while Taibah Jaffery, a student of Froebel's International School, Islamabad won second position - silver medal for her project "Fly Wheel Energy". The purpose of the project is to find a flywheel design that would be most effective for UPS systems. It proved that disc-shaped wheels with large diameters and appropriate masses are most effective.
The third position, bronze medals were won by the projects, "Cleaning of Acidic Water by Coal Ash" by Zara Iqbal of Pak-Turk International School & College, Islamabad and the team project, "Wild Plants are Precious", by Amna Sarwer and Sadaf Shaheen, of Federal Government College for Women, G - 10/4, Islamabad, respectively.
This year proved to be very fruitful for the young Pakistani scientists who have made us proud in the international arena. Not only did they earn laurels at the Intel ISEF, but also other international forums and competitions. We are especially proud of out girls, who have proved their mettle and have been successful at the competition in Korea. We can proudly say, the Pakistan has some the most bright and innovative youth who will bring a brighter future for themselves and the coming generations.