S’porean students take home awards at Int’l Science & Engineering Fair

Intel Corporation and the Society for Science & the Public has announced the winners of the 2016 
Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) – the world’s largest high school science research competition.

The top winners this year are:
·        Han Jie (Austin) Wang, 18, of Vancouver, Canada is the recipient of the first place Gordon E. Moore Award and US$75,000 for developing microbial fuel cells (MFCs) that more efficiently convert organic waste into electricity.
·        Syamantak Payra, 15, of Friendswood, Texas, received one of two Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards of US$50,000, for developing a low-cost electronically-aided knee brace that allows an individual with a weakened leg to walk more naturally.
·        Kathy Liu, 17, of Salt Lake City, Utah, received the other Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award of US$50,000 for developing an alternative battery component that could significantly improve battery performance and safety.

Strong results from Singapore students on global stage

Three Singapore students from National Junior College made Singapore proud at ISEF 2016 with their original research projects, and took home various awards for their efforts.

Wang Yuhang, 19, from National Junior College, was awarded the Third Award in theChemistry category for his project titled Nickel Oxy-hydroxide Thin Films as Efficient Electrocatalysts for Dye Wastewater Treatment.

Wang’s project found that an electrochemical method of degrading azo dyes using Nickel Oxy-hydroxide (NiOOH) thin film proved to be a cost effective, environmentally friendly, and energy efficient method to be employed in the treatment of dye wastewater.

For his efforts, Wang took home a prize of US$1,000. For furthering renewable water technology, Wang was also awarded another US$1,000 by the King Abdul-Aziz & his Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity.

Shu Yi, 19, from National Junior College, was awarded the Fourth Award in the Chemistry category for his project titled Immobilization of Glycans on Silicon Substrates for Diagnostic Microarrays.

Many techniques of molecular bindings use hard substrates. One of these techniques is precision ellipsometry, which is used in Jia’s project to attach glycan molecules to silicon substrate in order to examine glycan-protein interaction. For attachment of molecules to the hard surface, it is necessary to develop anchors and linkers to attach these molecules without changing their functionality.

For his efforts, Jia was awarded US$500. Jia also received a Certificate of Honorable Mention from the American Chemical Society.

Last but not least, Sim Yu Ki, 17, from National Junior College, received an Honorable Mentionfrom the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for her timely and relevant project titled Early, Affordable and Rapid Viral Detection: Revolutionizing Home Diagnosis of Dengue and Zika through Lateral Flow Biosensing.

Sim’s work studied the development of nanoparticles to aid Dengue Diagnosis via an Electrochemical Lateral Flow Biosensor (ELFB). The aim was to employ electrochemically-active nanoparticles into such biosensors for the detection of NS1 proteins by a sandwich-type immunoassay.

Intel ISEF is a program of Society for Science & the Public, sponsored through 2019 by Intel. The 2016 competition featured more than 1,700 young scientists selected from 419 affiliate fairs in 77 countries, regions and territories.

The competition honors the world’s most promising student scientists, inventors and engineers. This year, approximately US$4 million was awarded.

For more details and information, kindly refer to the following resources:
·        Intel media release announcing winners of the 2016 Intel ISEF – link, and appended. More images are available through the link.
·        URL Link to a list of Intel ISEF 2016 Grand Award winners, including the two awarded to National Junior College students Wang Yuhang and Jia Shu Yi
·        URL Link to a list of Special Awards given out at Intel ISEF 2016, including the Honourable Mention awarded to National Junior College student Sim Yu Ki.

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