Palestinian Teens Break New Ground in Science

A trio of diminutive teen science divas hailing from the city of Nablus, located in the war-scarred Palestinian West Bank, has single-handedly changed the lives of billions of blind people across the world. At the recent Intel Science and Engineering Fair held in California, Aseel Abu Aleil, Aseel Alshaar and Noor Alarada revealed their invention to the world.

What is it, you ask? Drum roll please…a specialized cane for the blind that has both horizontal and vertical infrared sensors.

For those not up-to-speed on the science of it all, here’s the story: In the past, a blind person could not determine if there was a hole or other object directly in their walkway, as other less visionary cane sensors only had horizontal infrared sensors. The new cane changes all of that.

The 14-year olds were presented with the award for Applied Electronics and made a strong showing out of an estimated 1500 finalists. The girls have gone down in history as the first Palestinians to ever win a prize at the event. They are currently enrolled at the UNRWA School at Askar Camp. However, despite their incredible invention, their future may not be as bright as other competitors in the science fair.

According to UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness, “UNRWA’s science education costs 25 million dollars a year and with a 90 million dollar deficit across the Agency our funds will run out in a matter of months. In Gaza, we have had to turn thousands of children away from our schools this year.”

It’s sad that despite the wealth in the Arab world, Palestinian children are held as captives in their own land, without the right to simply shine as visionaries in our world. If given a chance, Palestinian children have the same potential as any child to grow into our world’s next generation of leaders.

Source: Middle East Online



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