Google Science Fair South African teen wins Google prize for orange peel innovation

Google Science Fair 2016: Creative thinking leads to Inventions. Yes, this creative experimenting by an Indian- origin 16-year-old Kiara Nirghin has resulted in finding out a solution to retain water in the soil where crops suffer drought.

Kiara Nirghin, an Indian-origin South African 11th-grade student of St.Martin high school, Johannesburg, won the top prize from Google Science Fair with a scholarship of $50,000.

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To everyone’s surprise, this luminous idea to fight drought in South Africa is just by fruits scrap. She used an Orange peel and Avocado fruit skin to develop a super-absorbent material which can hold water in the soil.

The title of her project was “ No More Thirsty Crops ” and the project vision is to eradicate the drought which is a severe trouble to farmers and the crops. This drought can get discarded by the absorbent material created using the peels of Orange and Avocado.

This budding, Kiara Nirghin came up with a mixture to supplant current soil additives, which are harmful human-made chemicals like acrylic acid, sodium hydroxide. Kiara’s solution is biodegradable and affordable whereas, the other chemicals are non-biodegradable. SAP’s(Super Absorbent Polymers) are non-biodegradable solutions and are costly where farmers can’t afford financially.

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For the students between 13 to 18 years old, Google Science Fair is a global online competition and platform for the young scientists to exhibit their thoughts to solve the world’s toughest challenges using Science and Technology.

Kiara Nirghin, on receiving the prize said that “ I have always had a great love for chemistry since I was young. I vividly remember at the age of seven experimenting with vinegar and baking soda solutions in plastic cups. The only resources involved in creating of ‘Orange Peel Mixture’ were  electricity and time with no special equipment or materials required.”

This Indian-origin has cited a renowned Indian scientist named that, “ MS Swaminathan, has always been an inspiration of mine as he believed in the necessary movement of not only India but the whole world towards sustainable agricultural development ”

Kiara also added, “I hope to one day become a scientist specializing in agricultural science and also become a molecular gastronomist.”

Nirghin assures that her concoction would increase 73% food security in agricultural drought areas. This young Scientist also had plans of performing experiments on Testing water and removal of oil from water.

That’s an inquisitive and brilliant invention to fight drought which is at low cost by using Food Scraps.

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