Photo Credit: Bar-Ilan University
Biology Olympics winner Shai Nehemia, age 16, at Bar-Ilan University

A 16-year-old Ashdod teen has won the 22nd annual national Biology Olympics held at Bar-Ilan University, taking first place for her winning project, “The effect of phosphates on ‘chlorella’ algae growth.

In her advanced project, Shai Nehemia — who attends Makif Gimel High School — studied the influence of a non-organic compound, phosphate, on the growth and development of chlorella.


Chlorella is an algae that has drawn much interest over the past few years as it has a very high photosynthetic efficiency, and it may, in theory, serve as a potential source of energy and food.

The Biology Olympics were sponsored by the Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences at Bar-Ilan, under the initiative of the Education Ministry’s Department of Biology, and the support of the Ministry’s Science and Technology Administration.

At the conclusion of the competition Bar-Ilan University awarded Nehemia a full one-year scholarship to the faculty of her choice.

Karina Afekishev from Mevo’ot HaNegev School earned second place and Noam Manor from HaKfar Hayarok took third place.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.