Indian-origin South African Kiara Nirghin (16) has won a $50,000 scholarship at the annual Google Science Fair held in United States.
He has won this prestigious scholarship for developing a cheaper super-absorbent material using orange peel that helps soil retain water. She is Grade 11 student at private school St Martin’s.
Kiara Nirghin’s project
- She had submitted her project titled ‘No More Thirsty Crops’ that aimed at alleviating the severe drought plaguing South Africa.
- Her solution to the problem of drought is simple and uses the peels from orange and avocado fruits, which were normally discarded.
- She had developed super-absorbent polymers (SAPs), which absorb and carry about 300 times its weight in liquid relative to their own mass. These SAPs are biodegradable and not costly and does not contain harmful chemicals.
- SAPs developed by her can retain large amounts of water, keep soil moist and also improve crop growth without regular water supplements.
Google Science Fair: It is an annual programme of the search engine giant Google for any budding scientists between the ages of 13 to 18 who are invited something to solve the world’s biggest challenges using science and technology.