03/14/2012 05:47
Pair of Netanya high school pupils developed a system using solar rays to disinfect and clean water supplies.
Avishai Katko and Maya Braun By Sasson Tiram

A pair of Netanya high school pupils who developed a system using solar rays to disinfect and clean water supplies so they are suitable for drinking won the Intel-Israel 15th Annual Young Scientists Competition on Tuesday.

Avishai Katko and Maya Braun of Sharett High School found a way to expose polluted water to ultraviolet light using renewable energy at low cost. The device, if produced commercially, could be used in any home, the pupils said.

The system is modular, mobile and suitable for use in places with a severe shortage of potable water that also enjoy sunlight most of the year.

The competition was held at Jerusalem’s Bloomfield Science Museum, and the award ceremony was held at the Knesset. President Shimon Peres will receive the top winners privately at his temporary residence, as the President’s Residence is being renovated.

MK Gideon Sa’ar (Likud), Science and Technology Minister Daniel Herschkowitz (Habayit Hayehudi) and Intel-Israel president Maxine Fassberg were present to award the scholarship prizes.

Each of the teenagers will receive from Intel-Israel a NIS 12,000 university scholarship and represent the country in Intel’s worldwide Young Scientist Competition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania later this year.

Four pupils received second place: Hanimov of the Shapira religious school in Netanya for her work on a physics project dealing with the “Magnum Effect” in small airborne vehicles; Amit Kahana of the High School for the Arts and Sciences in Jerusalem for his psychology project on psychosomatics and free choice; Hadas Inbar of the Galilee School in Kfar Saba for her work on gold nanoparticles for biological uses; and Amit Shafran of the same Jerusalem school for his historical work on the Cairo Geniza.

One second-place pair will represent Israel in the Intel-ICEF competition also to be held in Pittsburgh, while the other will go to the European Young Scientists Competition in Slovakia. Each of the four will receive an NIS 8,000 university scholarship.

In third place were Or Sagi of the Kiryat Hinuch School in Emek Hefer for his computer project on using magnetic bacteria for digital memory; and Alfaruk Abu Elhasan of the Interdisciplinary School for Excellence in Hura for his physics project on water in an environment of pores. These two will receive NIS 6,000 scholarships.