12:00 AM, July 27, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 27, 2018

Distant dreams becoming reality

PHOTO: SHEIKH MEHEDI MORSHED

Yakutsk International Science Fair is an international competition of research works of students from Russia and other countries of the world. This year, 18-year olds Audri Priyom Bhowmik, Mashrur Ahmed Tusher and Shihab Sharar from Saint Joseph High and Secondary School, Dhaka, took home the bronze medals in this competition.

The three brilliant minds stayed in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) from July 8 to15 for the competition. They described their stay as a fulfilling experience. “Getting to socialise with people from different backgrounds was the most rewarding part. Initially, we were intimidated to compete with people who have come up with such high-grade research projects, but it gave us a proper challenge to tackle,” says Bhowmik.

Their project in the science fair was titled, “Efficient Removal of Cadmium from Water Using Magnetic Resonance and Algae Adsorption.” Cadmium is a naturally occurring toxic heavy metal with common exposure in industrial workplaces, plant soils, and from smoking. Cadmium can enter water through industrial discharges, waste disposals and spills and leaching from hazardous waste sites or certain fertilisers. “African countries are seeing a rise in Cadmium levels in water, which is a chief source of life. We intended to come up with feasible and effective solutions for third-world countries so that we can bring down cadmium poisoning close to zero,” explains Bhowmik, when asked what motivated them to conceive this project.

The three of them composed their own research paper as well as PowerPoint and poster presentations for the competition. They also went through tough rounds of questions and answers to defend their points.

In the midst of this competitive atmosphere, they also went on a cruise on the Lena River and attended interesting master classes led by foreign guests. “I think this programme really broadened our perspectives, furthered our interest in contests, and made us see that we can in fact turn our distant dreams into reality,” says Sharar.

For the three of them, the most significant point of pride was being able to represent Bangladesh on international grounds. “We carried our national flag with us when we were called on to the stage. We've been born and brought up in Bangladesh so this was our way of giving back to the country. We hope the next generation of youngsters get inspired to do bigger and better things,” asserts Bhowmik.