A KwaZulu-Natal learner has walked away with a scholarship worth more than R420 000 at the world’s largest high school science research competition, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).
Danielle Boer (17), a matric pupil from St Dominic’s Academy in Newcastle, was awarded a special award in the sociology subcategory with a project that investigated how playing music could lead to increased productivity in factories.
Another South African learner, Alessio Giuricich (16) from Bishops Diocesan College in Cape Town, received R7 000 in prize money for winning the special award in the Behavioural Sciences subcategory with a project that studied sugar dependence among adolescents and went on to win second place of R10 500 in the Intel Grand Awards the next day.
Boer and Giuricich were among nine South Africans who travelled to ISEF to compete with more than 1 500 young scientists from around the world. In all, more than 400 finalists received awards and prizes for their work.
“This global competition features youth trying to solve the world’s most pressing challenges through science, and we’re very proud of the South African learners who excelled in the international stage of the competition, especially in the Behavioural Sciences category,” says Parthy Chetty, head of corporate affairs at Intel South Africa.
“The hard work and grueling hours of research evident in these learners’ projects paid off in the end.”
The two first prize winners hailed from California and received $75 000 along with the Gordon E Moore Award, in honour of the Intel co-founder and retired chairman and CEO, for developing a potentially more effective and less expensive cancer treatment that places tin metal near a tumour before radiation therapy.
ISEF is owned and administered by the Society for Science & the Public, a non-profit organisation dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education. The Society’s president, Elizabeth Marincola, hailed the winners as “proof of what students can accomplish when they are inspired to pursue inquiry-based research”.
Intel has been committed to the International Science and Engineering Fair for the past 15 years.