Saudi winners of 21 awards at international science fair honored at King’s Cup match

Saudi students who won at Regeneron International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2022 and brought home more than 20 awards were honored on Thursday during the King’s Cup final match.

ISEF 2022 was held in Atlanta in the US state of Georgia.

Young scientists from the Kingdom won 21 awards, with Abdullah al-Ghamdi winning one of the top awards, the Regeneron Young Scientist Awards of $50,000.

Ghamdi won for “modifying a metal-organic material so it could be used to both extract hydrogen from water and safely store it for clean energy production,” ISEF said in a statement, adding that since the materials he used are considered cheap, his idea can help reduce the cost of hydrogen extraction and storage.

Ghamdi also won the first award in the category of energy: sustainable materials and design.

The winners have been celebrated since their return home on Sunday, and they were further honored on Thursday evening as they made an appearance at the football field before the King Cup’s final match kicked off.

Videos circulated on social media showed the football players line on different sides to make way for the young winners as they entered the field amid cheers from the audience.

Among the winners is Dana al-Aithan, who won the first award in the chemistry category and Mawaddah Ali, who won the third award in the behavioral and social sciences category.

According to ISEF, 1,750 young scientists representing 49 US states and 63 countries and regions worldwide participated in the fair.

The Kingdom has been participating in ISEF since 2007 as part of an annual program organized by King Abdulaziz and his Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity “Mawhiba” in cooperation with the education ministry, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The Saudi team at the fair consisted of 35 students from 11 schools, SPA said, adding that Saudi Arabia also participated in ISEF as a sponsor through “Mawhiba” and granted several awards, including scholarships at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

Saudi students have won 83 awards at the fair since the Kingdom started participating. Their recent victory brings the total number of awards won to 104, SPA added.

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