ABU DHABI, 14th May, 2016 (WAM)–Ten young Emirati youth (6 females and 4 males) won special award for sustainability in the prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the largest international pre-college science competition in the world, which took place in Phoenix, Arizona – USA between 8 -13 May 2016.

The 10 budding innovators, showcased their science and technology projects which covered a wide range of innovations such as wastewater treatment for environmental protection, self-healing asphalt designed for smart cities, a transparent solar cell made up of recycled plastic and glass. The combination of three different technologies, merged together to implant in any diesel based vehicle to transform it into eco-friendly vehicles, the manufacturing of Incombustible recyclable and eco-friendly wood foam used for thermal-insulation, and finally firefighter UAV equipped with a video transmitter and real-time footage.

Commenting on the participation of Think Science Students and the winners of the ‘Special Award for Sustainability’ in the Intel ISEF, Maytha Al Habsi, Deputy CEO of Emirates Foundation said, “We are honoured to engage the best young minds of our nation in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, which provides an international platform for our aspiring young scientists to showcase their made in the UAE scientific discoveries to the world’s leading experts in science and technology. It also affords them a unique opportunity to interact with talented young scientists from across 75 countries in a rich knowledge exchange forum.”

Al Habsi further elaborated that “Through the Think Science programme, Emirates Foundation aims to empower young people actively engage with the digital revolution by providing them with a platform that encourages them to innovate and deploy technology that addresses some of today’s broader socio-economic challenges. It is through exposure and hands – on experience at such international platforms that youth gain the knowledge and self confidence to overcome any limitations and boundaries in order to transform their creativity into real solutions benefiting society.”

Expressing their gratitude and excitement, Maryam Alhashmi from Al Ittihad Private School – Jumeirah said, “We had never expected to win anything at the Intel ISEF Fair this year, let alone winning the ‘Special Award for Sustainability’. Our goal from being here was to learn from young people like us coming from different nations – seeing what challenges they face in their counties and best practices they applied and also share our UAE experience.”

She added, “We are grateful to Emirates Foundation and Think Science Program who have given us this amazing opportunity to learn and grow even further.” Maryam represented her team (Amna Al Hashmi and Maryam Bukhash) in ISEF this year who worked on The Invisible Helious Power project, in which they created an efficient transparent solar cell made up of recycled plastic and glass, and special pigments, that is more effective and efficient to produce more power at lower costs than conventional solar cells.”

Intel ISEF provides an annual forum for more than 1,700 high school students from over 75 countries, regions, and territories to showcase their independent research and compete for more than $4 million in awards. Today, millions of students worldwide compete each year in local and school-sponsored science fairs; the winners of these events go on to participate in regional and state fairs from which the best win the opportunity to attend Intel ISEF.

At Intel ISEF, awards are based on students’ abilities to tackle challenging scientific questions, use authentic research practices, and create solutions for the problems of tomorrow, where doctoral level scientists review and judge their work.

Participating Projects included: Sweihan School – Al Ain: Removal of Cadmium from Waste Water Al Ittihad Private School – Dubai – Jumeira – The Smart Asphalt Al Ittihad Private School – Dubai – Jumeira – Invisible Helios Power New World American Private School – Sharjah – Eco-Friendly Vehicle Al Ittihad Private School – Jumeira – Dubai – Incombustible Wood Foam Al Khaleej National School – Dubai – Firefighter UAV