After , 10th graders Mayzer Muhammad, Muhammad Islam and Omar Farah learned Sunday that they won the bronze medal in the Environment category of the I-SWEEEP Olympiad.
I-SWEEEP stands for International Sustainable World (Energy Engineering Environment) Project. Each team member, attending the K-12 Islamic School in Fridley, won a medal and certificate, and shared the $400 cash prize.
Their project, called “Light Efficiencies: A Key to Saving the World,” caught the judges’ attention because it tied in religion, in addition to the environment, as a purpose and motivation to continue with the project. The project tested three types of light bulbs to find out which was most energy efficient. Following the Holy Qur’an’s teachings that a person should not be wasteful and should take care of the Earth, the team competed at the International Science Fair, which brought together competitors from all around the world and the United States.
“The whole trip was a really great learning experience,” said Mayzer Muhammad.
Meeting people from many different cultures was also fascinating at the competition, said Muhammad Islam. The team even met a competitor who was living in Egypt during the country’s recent revolution.
“There were people there from all over the world, and they encouraged us to come back next year,” Muhammad Islam said. “At first when we were going, we weren’t sure if we wanted to go back, but after meeting these people we’ve decided we want to go back.”
He added that the team will most likely continue working on the same project they had this year and improving it, instead of starting a new project for next year.
“Overall, it was a great educational experience and a great social experience,” said Omar Farah. He and his team members met students from Malaysia, Turkey, Romania, France, Egypt, Ukraine and the United States.