The four were selected from a national science fair held at Kisii High School in June last year. During the competition in Kisii, 374 projects were submitted by 748 participating students. Two of the innovative students, Daryani Kunvarji Vasta and Priyal Parbat Varsan, were from Shree Catchi Leva Patel Samaj School, Nairobi
The other two, Janvi Jiten Pabari and Nishta Amrish Patel, represented Jalaram Academy. During the annual congress in the US, 1,700 young innovators from different parts of the globe took part. This year’s contest from May 12 to 16 was sponsored by Intel. Africa was represented by Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.
“We set out to find an alternative of diesel from a fungus that has similar hydrocarbons,” explains Daryani. The fungus, Gliocladium Roseum that grows on trees, produces substances that are similar to petroleum products, which can be used as fuel. “We were inspired by an online article, Effects of Diesel on Environment, that said the fungus was found on the Umol tree in Argentina. Since we could not access the tree, we researched and found out that the fungus can also be found in tomatoes and grapes,” adds her teammate Priyal
Their Chemistry teacher gave them articles and references to guide them in the research. The duo went ahead and collected tomatoes and grapes, identified and nurtured the fungus to generate the hydrocarbons.
The other two students had a project which involved the development of a multiple chemical generator that reduces pollutants in air and water in a cost effective way.
Intel Science and Engineering Fair is the world’s largest high school science research competition, and encourages and empowers students to explore their passion for developing new innovations that will positively impact the way we work and live,” Intel East Africa Head of Corporate Affairs Suraj Shah explains