Young scientists from around the world – including four from South Africa – are in Reno, Nevada to compete in the world's largest pre-college science competition, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2009, a programme of the Society for Science and the Public.
More than 1 500 students from 56 countries, regions and territories will share ideas, showcase cutting-edge research and inventions, and compete for nearly $4-million in scholarships and awards. The top three winners will each be awarded a $50 000.00 scholarship from the Intel Foundation.
Christopher Wilken, Jacques Winterbach, Arno de Beer and Jason Dixon are representing South Africa.
Wilken's project will determine whether the Vitamin C level in oranges can increase or decrease once it has been picked. Winterbach's project will be on finding a cheaper way of producing electricity that is environmentally friendly and uses a sustainable energy source. Both de Beer and Dixon will showcase their project of treating and controlling ticks and other parasites found mainly on wild game animals.
The high school students who participate in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair are the innovators of tomorrow. In fact, more than 20% of 2009 participants have a patent or are considering applying for one for their research.
Finalists' projects tackle challenging scientific questions that address some of today's most pressing global issues such as climate change, cancer, alternative fuels, driver safety and world hunger.
"It is encouraging to see how the young men and women at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair have developed novel solutions to some of the world's toughest problems," says Intel chairman Craig Barrett. "I've been learning from these young scientists since Intel began sponsorship in 1996 and look forward to seeing how their innovations will improve the global economy in the years to come."