You go, girl! Emirati teenage girls compete in US science competition

Published May 8th, 2016 - 07:00 GMT
Emirati female science students are making a splash at the ISEF conference! (Shutterstock)
Emirati female science students are making a splash at the ISEF conference! (Shutterstock)

Ayeshs Essa Al Zarooni, the 17-year-old Emirati student of Al Ittihad Private School-Jumeirah is all set to make her country proud.  The young scientist is one among the 11 Emirati students who are headed to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) due to take place from Sunday to Thursday (May 8 to 13) at Phoenix, Arizona, United States.

This year, the number of Emirati girls participating at the event is greater than the number of boys.

Out of the 11 students who are travelling, seven are girls. The students are selected by the Emirates Foundation based on their performance at Think Science, an annual science fair that takes place in Dubai. Khaleej Times caught up with the young scientists before the big day, speaking to them about what they're most excited about in the upcoming fair.

Every year, a team of students from the UAE travel to the United States for the fair.

Al Zarooni and her team mates Shahad Abdulaziz Al Hoot and Meera Abdulrahman Al Hashmi will be presenting their project - 'Incombustible wood foam' at the science fair.

She said: "Since our prospect of tomorrow is to be both efficient and eco-friendly our thermal-insulation materials should be so too."

Her project encourages the use of sustainable products in the construction industry.

 "I am very excited about the experience and the opportunity to be able to meet so many people from across the world."

She added that winning for the UAE will be a very proud moment.

"We are looking forward to win at the competition," said Abeer Charab, supervisor at Al Ittihad Private School, who is participating for the second year in a row.

"We are going to the competition with two projects. Last year, we got a feel of the competition.This year we are going in for the win." 

The second team from Al Ittihad include Amna Al Hashmi, Maryam Al Hashmi, and Maryam Bukash.

Supervisor for team from New World American School Dr Samiksha Chaturvedi said: "We are very excited about the fair. My student Mohammed Talib Al Balooshi will be showcasing his project, an eco-friendly car for the fair."

Student of Al Khaleej School in Dubai Khalfan, Obaid Hableel (17), said: "I am looking forward to representing my country at the fair. We have some great young minds here in the UAE and we get to compete with great minds from across the world, which makes it very exciting." He added that it is very important that more and more Emirati students enter the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem).

What does Isef stand for?

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair or Isef is the world's biggest international pre-college science event with participation from approximately 1,700 high school students from over 75 countries. The winning students are awarded the opportunity to showcase their independent research and compete for approximately $4 million in prizes.

By Dhanusha Gokulan

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