CHIANG RAI – Charuntorn Doungnga, 18, and Runglawan Charpugdee, 17, from Damrongratsongkroh School in Chiang Rai have won the Special Award of the Scientific Research Society of Sigma Xi on Friday.
They were awarded the top international science award for their project to extend the lives of silkworms.
The award was part of theÂ Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2016 (Intel ISEF 2016), the worldâ€™s largest high school science research competition, which took place in Phoenix, Arizona from May 8 and ended on Saturday.
Their project involved developing a special frame that reduces human handling of silkworms and thus extends their lives and productivity. Its formal title was: “A silk sheath production frame developed from negative geotropic spinning behaviour of silkworms resulting in silk sheaths with high homogeneity”.
The same project won second prize in the Animal Science category of Intel ISEF 2016.
Third place in the same category went to two Bangkok Christian College students. Puvanat Triamchanchai and Touchakorn Chintavalakorn, both 15, presented a project called: “Bubble nesting behaviour behind local wisdom of rearing Siamese fighting fish by utilising dry leaves”.
Sakorn Chanapaitoon, acting director of the National Science Museum, led the Thai team to Phoenix, where 1,800 students from 80 countries competed.
Ms Runglawan, a Mathayom 5 student, said the Chiang Rai project was inspired by a desire to help silkworm farmers in the community extend the lives of the insects.
“We observed their behaviour and found they always moved upwards on different slopes to generate silk sheaths,” she explained.
“We tested until we found the right angle that would allow them to produce the best-quality sheaths. We then designed a device on a wooden frame, which helps minimise manual labour required to spread the silkworms. With less contact by humans, the life of worms is tripled, helping farmers cut costs and increase productivity.”
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