Girl scientists recognised among the Google Science Fair's winners

The Google Science Fair is a global online science and engineering competition open to individuals and teams from ages 13 to 18. The finalists have traveled to Google headquarters to present their project to the judges and compete for the awards. This year, three girls have won the Google Science Fair - Community Impact Awards. DiscovHER takes a look at their project.

A New Eco-Friendly Method for Increasing Blast and Impact Resistance of Reinforced Concrete Buildings -  by İlayda Sırbaş and Ezgi Tezer


Improving the resistance of public buildings in the face of critical events such as explosions, terrorist attacks or fires is a major challenge facing our society. This was the observation made by İlayda Sırbaş and Ezgi Tezer, two high school students aged 15 competing in the final of Google Science Fair.


These two young scientists developed an external wall model, capable of absorbing powerful impact loads. This wall, designed using crushed aluminium cans, is eco-friendly and can be made using recycled cans. The tests that they carried out at the İzmir Institute of Technology revealed just how effective the system is. In fact, reinforcing walls using compressed aluminium cans allowed the impact load to be reduced by 61%.



Originating from Turkey, both Ezgi Tezer and İlayda Sırbaş participated in the Google Science Fair in the hope that their invention would be applied to new construction processes and to contribute to the safety of populations.


As a passionate young scientist, İlayda was drawn early on to major scientific figures such as Charles Darwin and Stephen Hawking, whose patience, courage, open-mindedness and curiosity she admires. It was Leonardo da Vinci who inspired Ezgi, who now wants to undertake studies in mechanical engineering in order to combine her love for drawing and science. 




Combating Drought with a Low-Cost, Biodegradable Super-absorbent Polymer made of Orange Peel.


South Africa currently experiencing one of the severest droughts in its history. In 2015, the country only had 403mm rain, which is equivalent to only 66% of its average yearly rainfall. Drought is an urgent issue to be addressed in order to avoid shortfalls and ensure household food security.


Kiara Nirghin, a promising young scientist aged 16, has found an eco-friendly and sustainable solution to this problem: using orange peel to retain water in the soil. Her idea came from an analysis of super-absorbent polymers, which retain almost 300 times their weight in liquids. Currently, these types of polymers are extremely expensive and harmful to the environment, but Kiara Nirghin found a brilliant eco-friendly alternative. Her research showed that orange peel contains up to 64% biodegradable polymers. To complete the liquid absorption process, she discovered that it was possible to replace the sulphide or chloric acid with UV and heat lamps. Oil in avocado peels were then used in emulsion polymerization of the solution. This super absorbent polymer then acts as a water reservoir in the earth.





Congratulations to this young women scientists ! 

React on @4womeninscience

L’Oréal–UNESCO
For Women in Science

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