SOUTH AFRICAN TEEN WINS GOOGLE FAIR GRAND PRIZE OF $50,000

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Shell Nigeria
South African Kiara Nirghin, 16, has won the grand prize at this year’s Google science fair for her project on developing a cheap super-absorbent material that can help soil retain water.

After winning a competition against young people from around the world, Ms Nirghin was awarded with a $50,000 (£38,000) scholarship fund to help her with her education.

Her work was a direct response the South Africa’s recent drought, one of the worst in the country’s history, the  BBC reports.

Superabsorbent Polymers (SAPs) are available, but they are expensive and not biodegradable.

Ms Nirghin set about trying to create an alternative, the Google science fair website says.

She discovered that a mixture made from orange peel could be an effective substitute.

She now hopes that this can help local farmers save both money and their crops.  

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