Omani students win NASA prize at science fair

Muscat - 

Three Omani students have won a NASA prize for their project ‘Supporting Life on Mars’. The students Shama al Tobi, Lajin al Ruqaishi and Shahad al Amri, from Umm al Khair School in Izki were given special awards at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2015.

The fair was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the US between May 10 and 15. Shama told Oman TV Arabic that they got the idea for the project after hearing about the Dutch company Mars One, which in 2013 announced it is planning to send four persons to Mars in 2023 to start a colony. Shama said that she and her friends worked on the project with the support of their school and the Ministry of Education.

She said winning the prize was a big encouragement. “We’re not going to stop. We’re going to continue to do Oman proud.”

The first place was won by Raymond Wang from Canada for creating a new air inlet system for airplane cabins to improve air quality and curb disease transmission. He was awarded US$75,000 as prize money.

The two other prizes were won by Nicole Ticea also of Canada and Karan Jerath from Texas, US. The two were given Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards of US$50,000 each. The Intel fair is the world’s largest pre-college science competition and this year it saw participation of more than 1,700 students from 75 countries.

More than 7mn high school students around the world participated in science fairs in the qualifying stages.

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