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.

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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 Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.