Saudi students reap honors in US science fair

Updated 26 May 2013

Saudi students reap honors in US science fair

Saudi high school students have recently received eight awards at the annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, (Intel ISEF), in Phoenix, Arizona. The Saudi team ranked third globally behind the Canadian and American teams, attaining the same ranking as their Chinese counterparts.
The Saudi team comprised students from private and public schools in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam.
Intel ISEF is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, which allows students to compete and showcase their independent research work to a panel of experts. This year, approximately 1,600 finalists from more than 70 countries competed to win awards and prizes totaling over $ 4 million for their innovative research. From Saudi Arabia, 22 school students participated with 18 different innovative studies and projects in different fields such as engineering, animal sciences, behavior and social science, biochemistry, chemistry, cellular and molecular biology, medicine and health, mathematical science, physics, astronomy and plant science.
Almost all students had been given internships and access to King Abdullah University of Science and Technology’s laboratories in order to develop their research and projects. The four-day event commenced with students and mentors registering and installing their projects in the booths allocated to them. Judges passed by every booth and interviewed the students about their projects.
On the final day, Saudi students dressed in their traditional attire and holding the national flag, cheered on their teammates who won the awards.
The winners of this year’s fair were 17-year-old Otham Alodan and 17-year-old Abdulamlik Aloufi, from Deffi High School in Jubail. They each won a special award from the International Honor Society in Psychology for their project on improving the cognitive abilities of secondary students in the Kingdom through reading specific text colors.
In addition, Alma Alhussaini, another 17-year-old student from Dahran Schools in Alkhobar, received a special award from the Society for Experimental Mechanics Inc. for the research she conducted on the effectiveness of novel digital image correlation in obtaining accurate full-field displacement measurements.
In the field of sciences, 17-year-old Ahmed Halawani, from Dar Althiker School in Jeddah, was given a special award from the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Physical Society for his research on diluted magnetic semiconductor (Gd Doped Zn0). Reem Al Rabiah from Altarbia Alislamia Schools in Riyadh, received the fourth award, worth $ 500 in environmental sciences for her research on the effects of ecological differences on biofilm composition in the Red Sea.
Rand Tawfiq and Sarah Al Abdullatif from Dhahran Ahliyya Schools in Dhahran were awarded the $ 500 prize in engineering, materials and bioengineering for their research on the use of nanoparticles to decrease the coefficient of refraction in oil reservoirs for improving 4D seismic surveys.
A 16-year-old student from Dhahran Ahliyya School in Dhahran, Mohammed Aldajani, also received the $ 500 prize, for coming in fourth in the category of medicine and health science for conducting research on establishing a novel pathophysiology of autism and cryptogenic epilepsy.
The third award in biochemistry, with a prize of $ 1,000 was awarded to Hassan Khdary and Khaled Alkozman from Manarat Al-Riyadh School in Riyadh for their research on the effects of applying a novel silica nanoparticle compound medication to effectively eradicate malaria.
Finally, 17-year-old Abdullah Bu Khamsin from Dhahran Ahliyyah School in Dhahran won the second award worth $ 1,500 in plant sciences for his research on meeting the future demands of world crop consumption, entitled, “A novel construction method for the generation of dTALE constructs for gnome engineering applications.”
“The Saudi finalists showed great promise in harnessing the power of science and innovation to solve problems and create solutions as well as opportunities for our global community,” said Abdulaziz Al Nogaiher, general manager of Intel in Saudi Arabia.


‘Dare to dream,’ football hero Thierry Henry tells Saudi fans

Footballing great Thierry Henry thrills fans as he signs 10 footballs on stage and tosses them to the audience. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 21 October 2019

‘Dare to dream,’ football hero Thierry Henry tells Saudi fans

  • Fans got up close and personal with the former champion during a segment called the lightning round, where Henry had to answer questions in 10 seconds

DHAHRAN: Stepping onto the Tanween stage in front of a sold-out venue full of cheering fans, footballing great Thierry Henry was quick to say how “hyped” he was to meet his Saudi supporters.
As a guest and speaker at Tanween Season, the former Arsenal striker and French international faced a busy schedule on Saturday after arriving at King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran.
First, he had a “meet and greet” with fans, many wearing Arsenal shirts, which was quickly followed by a discussion of the theme for this year’s event, “Play.”
After two young footballers from Riyadh performed a series of tricks that included balancing a football on one leg, then kicking it in the air to land on their backs, Henry said: “I would have broken my back trying to do that. It’s not easy.”
On his second visit to Saudi Arabia — the first was to Riyadh last year — Henry said that he was impressed by this year’s Tanween theme since he had seen firsthand the results of a children’s quality-of-life program at Tanween.
“What I liked most was to see the smiles on the faces of those children when I was walking around the impressive building. Being able to dream is key for me, but seeing how the youngsters were interacting, and how happy they were with their families walking around, was just priceless,” he said.
Growing up, Henry’s father played an important role in his development. The footballer did not miss a beat when answering that his father was his idol. “My dad was the hardest man to please; to put a smile on his face was the hardest thing to do,” he said.
Although the footballer grew up in a “not so great” Paris neighborhood, he considered it an enriching cultural experience. “It was great for me at the time because it allowed me to travel, although I wasn’t really traveling,” he said.
France’s colonial history meant he was exposed to different cultures early in his life.
“If I going upstairs to have couscous, to the second floor to have Senegalese food, or to eat with the Portuguese downstairs, it allowed me to travel, staying where I was,” he explained.
During his talk Henry showed that his Arabic extends to common niceties such as “shukran,” “afwan” and “alsalamau alaikum.”
Having an impact on the English Premier League and his role in Arsenal’s record-breaking era almost two decades ago are more important to him that being considered the world’s best striker, he said. As for his favorite stadium, Henry was quick to choose Highbury.
Offering advice to younger Saudis in the audience, Henry urged them to face their problems calmly and cleverly.
“Don’t run away. Face it and don’t be scared to fail. Come back again, but smarter,” he said.
Fans got up close and personal with the former champion during a segment called the lightning round, where Henry had to answer questions in 10 seconds. That revealed that he has always admired Muhammad Ali as the greatest, Messi is his current favorite football player and winning the World Cup was the most memorable moment in his career.
After the talk, Henry thrilled the crowd — a reminder of his playing days — by tossing 10 footballs to lucky fans who cheered as he left the stage.