The Peninsula

Qatar Web posted: May 12, 2008


Students win science scholarships


Doha • The winners of the World Virtual Science and Engineering Fair (WVSEF) were announced at an awards ceremony at College of the North Atlantic – Qatar (CNA-Q) in front of a 500-strong audience of students and VIPs, which featured films about the finalists and their projects, testimonials and a speech by Canadian Astronaut and special guest judge, Dr. Roberta Bondar.


The top three winners in each category received scholarships for an educational institution of their choice. 20,000 Canadian Dollars was the prize money for the winner, 15,000 Canadian Dollars for the runner up and 7,500 Canadian Dollars for the third place.


The WVSEF sponsored by Qatar Petrochemical Company (QAPCO) and organised by CNA-Q in partnership with Qtel, brought together young scientists from five continents. Out of 103 science students from around the world who submitted science projects virtually, over the Internet, eight finalist teams travelled to Doha for the final judging and WVSEF awards ceremony on Friday and Saturday (May 9-10).


The top prize in the college category went to Katja Miller from Germany for her "Nervous Nerves" project which mathematically models the anatomy of a neural network, by using a fractal algorithm, to emulate the way a brain physically grows.


The top prize in the senior high school category went to Vlad Ternovsky from Canada for his "A Hole in the Wing: Not Always a Bad Thing" project. His project investigated the effects of having different sized holes in an airfoil and whether they could be usefully adapted for practical applications, such as a quiet, slow rotating wind turbine.


Dr. Bondar said: "The virtual aspect of the Fair is quite unique and allowed students who don't normally have access to science fairs to be involved and compete against students from all over the world. I am a big supporter of science fairs like this. They stimulate science and education through rewarding excellence."


The special guest and judge at the World Virtual Science and Engineering Fair (WVSEF), was Canadian Astronaut, Physician, Scientist, Author and Photographer, Dr. Roberta Bondar. She was the world's first neurologist in space and the first Canadian woman in space on the shuttle Discovery mission in 1992.


Dr. Harald Jorch, President of College of the North Atlantic-Qatar said, "This is a world first and a great event for the college - we were thrilled to welcome these young scientists and the distinguished judges from around the world. All of the projects were very impressive and the participants should be proud to have made it to the final judging in Doha."


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