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Youth take center stage at International Science Fair


 
This year's Intel International Science and Engineering fair in Los Angeles drew 1,700 students from around the globe to compete for $5 million in awards and scholarships.
17-year-old Zarin Rahman, is among the group of finalists. She submitted a study suggesting a link between the use of electronic devices and problems with weight management and sleep deprivation.
Zarin Rahman: “The award doesn’t really matter to me, but then, people will know who I am, read my project, and then I can spread my message and research further than I have been already."
Teacher Judith Vasquez is here on a field trip with students, she hopes they will be inspired to pursue careers in math and science, especially the young women.
Judith Vasquez: “Because science tends to be more of a boy thing, they’re more geared towards it and we want them to be exposed … equally exposed to everything."
Students compete in a variety of categories: behavioral sciences, medicine, and physics to name a few. Oftentimes, ideas presented here become reality.
Wendy Hawkins, Intel executive director: “Twenty percent of the students who come here either have already gotten a patent for their work or they’ve applied for patents, so they’re intending to go back and make these things real.”
One of those students is 15-year-old finalist Miriam Demasi. After reading about a 2003 earthquake that leveled a small town in Iran, she developed a new building material. She said her product is cheaper, stronger, and has a higher insulation value, which will result in less deforestation.
Miriam Demasi: “I haven’t implemented it yet but with the help of an aid organization getting it known to those people, I believe they would adopt it readily.”
This year's biggest prize worth $75,000, went to 15-year-old US student Nathan Han of Boston.
Nathan Han: “The goal of my project was to create a system that can predict the harmfulness of mutations in person anywhere in the person’s genome. So anywhere in their DNA.”
Han said he became interested in mutating genes after learning a family friend had been diagnosed with cancer. Diane Moses, VOA News, Los Angeles.

Source: VOA
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