Cape Town - A 16-year-old schoolgirl from Joburg has won the grand prize at the Google Science Fair for inventing a cheap way to combat drought using orange peels.
Kiara Nirghin, a grade 11 pupil at St Martin’s High School, was inspired by the drought currently gripping South Africa. She designed a super-absorbent substance to retain water in soil so plants can make better use of the little rain they receive.
Instead of the expensive synthetic material farmers currently use, Kiara’s design uses orange and avocado peels to trap water.
Her submission, called “Fighting Drought with Fruit”, won her $50 000 (R697 000) in scholarship funding at the Google Science Fair awards in California on Tuesday.
Kiara couldn’t be contacted for comment on winning the prize, but shared a bit about herself on her competition submission.