Saudi female student wins NASA’s Intel ISEF award

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Saudi student Sara Alrabiah won the top award of NASA’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in a competition that brought together 1,700 researchers. Sara won the award for her project on improving resistive RAMs’ performance by using single crystal Perovskites.

Saudis took to Twitter to voice their joy at Sara’s victory and shared a video of her being announced the winner. Sara appeared in disbelief when she heard her name and her friends cheered for her as they told her to head to the podium to collect the award. Speaking to, Sara said the secret of her success was her father who’s always believed in her.

“The confidence I’ve attained from my father was the major reason I pursued this path. I told my parents I want to work on submitting a scientific project and will need to be away for a long time at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Jeddah. My talent was then embraced and I participated in this global competition and held my country’s head high,” Sara said.

She said that her research was on developing resistive rams that can be used for memory purposes and which has been recently proposed to replace the currently used memories.

Professor Othman Bakr followed up on her work and he was her major reference, Sara said, adding that the General Department of Education in Riyadh and King Abdulaziz & his Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity also supported her to pursue this path.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) is held annually. It’s the world’s largest international pre-college science competition as it brings together around 1,700 competitors from more than 1,600 high schools from 60 countries to compete in 17 categories.

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