Sri Lankan students win big at Intel ISEF 2016

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Team Sri Lanka won five awards at this year’s Intel International Science Engineering Fair. Better known as ISEF, this is the world’s largest high school science and research competition, which concluded in Phoenix, Arizona. The competition is funded jointly by Intel and the Intel Foundation with additional awards and support from dozens of other corporate, academic, governmental and science-focused organizations. This year, approximately US$ 4 million was awarded and few prestigious ones went to three talented students from Sri Lanka.

Lochana Piyumantha, Abhishekh Gomes and Chamindu Jayasanka

Abishekh Gomes from Belvoir College International, Colombo won a grand award and two special awards while Chamindu Jayasanka from Hanwella Rajasinghe Central College and P.M. Lochana Piyumantha from Madampe Senanayake Central College clinched two special awards for their innovations.

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Abishekh’s wearable device which converts American Sign Language (ASL) into English received the third place grand award of US$ 1000 in the Embedded Systems category at the Intel ISEF Grand Awards Ceremony. He also won a special award of US$ 2000 from Synaptics USA, a world-leading human interface solution developer which bases on touch, display, and biometrics technologies, and US$ 500 from the Patent and Trademark Office Society of the United States.

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Chamindu’s ‘Modified and Adjustable Crutches’ won a special award of US$ 1000 from the Patent and Trademark Office Society of the United States for his outstanding originality and clarity in science and technology.

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Lochana’s nano-technology-based solution for resistant Endometrial cancer cells also won another special award of US$ 1000 from Qatar Foundation for the excellence he shown in human life sciences.

Speaking to the media, Indika de Zoysa, Country Business Manager, Intel EM Ltd., Sri Lanka Liaison Office said, “Intel believes young people are key to future innovation and that in order to confront the global challenges of tomorrow, we need students from all backgrounds to get involved in science, technology, engineering, and math. I hope this year’s achievements of Abishekh, Lochana and Chamindu will inspire other young people in Sri Lanka, to pursue their interest in these fields and apply their curiosity, creativity, and ingenuity to the common good. I wish them the very best of luck in their future endeavors.”

The 2016 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair featured more than 1,700 young scientists selected from 419 affiliate fairs in 77 countries, regions, and territories. In addition to the top winners, approximately 600 finalists received awards and prizes for their innovative research, including 22 “Best of Category” winners, who each received a US$5,000 prize.

We congratulate Abishekh, Chamindu, and Lochana on their amazing victory. Once again, Sri Lanka shines on the global stage. Hopefully, we’ll see (and write) other great achievements by these talented students and other great Sri Lankan innovators in the near future.

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