Thursday 1 December 2022
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South African Teen Wins Google Prize Using Orange Peel Against Drought

africanstudentwinsgooglescholarship( – The grand prize winner at this year’s Google science fair was a 16 year old South African schoolgirl who earned a full scholarship for her project “No More Thirsty Crops” aimed at ending the country’s punishing drought.

 Kiara Nirghin bested students from around the world with her project that transformed simple orange peels into a cheap super-absorbent material to help soil retain water.

 She said her work was in response to the recent drought that has hit South Africa, the worst since 1982, which has led to crop failures and animals dying.

 Ms Nirghin, an eleventh grade student in Johannesburg, said she made three experiments over 45 days before coming up with an orange peel mixture as an alternative to expensive and non-biodegradable super-absorbent polymers.

 The mixture was made out of waste products from the juice manufacturing industry, she said.

 The only resources involved in the creation of the orange peel mixture were electricity and time. No special equipment nor materials were required, Ms Nirghin added in her online submission.

 The teenager received the $50,000 scholarship at the annual fair in California. She said she hoped it would help farmers save money and their crops.

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