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Three Sri Lankan students depart for Intel ISEF

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  • Students meet with Ministry of Education Secretary prior to departure
Secretary to the Ministry of Education Anura Dissanayake met with the winner of the Sri Lanka Science and Engineering Fair (SLSEF) 2014, G.B.R.D. Malewana from Nalanda College, Colombo, and runners-up W.A.N.U. Piyasiri of the Thambuttegama Central College, Thambuttegama and L.N.K. Silva of De Mazenod College, Kandana, prior to their departure to the United States to participate in the annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair from 11 to 16 May. The Sri Lankan team will showcase Malewana’s study on using nanotechnology to kill cancer cells where he experimented with the effects of catechin coated iron oxide nanoparticles on leukemic cells. Piyasiri will showcase a versatile field constructing machine – a piece of equipment that offers numerous farm tools integrated into one engineering solution. Silva will showcase a device constructed to help the visually-impaired to play video games using their tongues. In a message to the students, Minister Bandula Gunewardena stated: “Each year, the students who participate at SLSEF astound us with their ingenuity and creativity. Last year’s Anuradha Kapuge not only went on to win a grand prize and a second award for his invention, but also went on to study engineering in Korea on a scholarship and was recently gifted a house by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. I would like to thank Intel for supporting local students to take these innovations into the global arena via ISEF. I wish our team the very best of luck and hope they will use this opportunity to broaden their horizons and knowledge.” “This event is an opportune occasion for Lankan students to meet with and exchange ideas with their peers from around the world. I have no doubt that this exposure will be essential in helping them grow and serve their country in numerous ways through science and innovation in the coming years. I wish the finalists the very best of luck for the upcoming ISEF competition,” said Dissanayake. Indika de Zoysa, Country Business Manager, Intel EM Ltd., Sri Lanka Liaison office said: “This is the seventh year that Lankan students will be showcasing their experiments and work at ISEF and I wish this year’s participant the very best of luck. Intel Sri Lanka is proud to work alongside the Ministry of Education, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL) to provide this opportunity for our students.” During the last six years, 21 Sri Lankan students have attended Intel ISEF in the United States and have won two grand awards and four special awards to date. Over 10 officials have also attended the Intel Educator Academy during this time period. As the world’s largest pre-college science fair, and the only global science competition for students in grades 9-12, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) encourages students to tackle challenging scientific questions and solve the problems of tomorrow. Each year, more than six million students worldwide, from local and regional science fairs within the Intel ISEF-affiliated network in 70 countries vie to attend the Intel ISEF. This year over 1,600 finalists have been selected to share breakthrough scientific research and compete for nearly $4 million in scholarships and awards at the event. Over the past five years, 21 Sri Lankan students have participated at Intel ISEF while over ten officials have attended the Intel Educator Academy. Sri Lanka has won two grand awards and four special awards to date at the event.

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