Thai student teams took home several awards, including top prize Regeneron Young Scientist Award from the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF 2023). Organized by the Regeneron and Society for Science, Regeneron ISEF 2023 was held from 13 to 19 May 2023 in Dallas, Texas, USA.
The Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI) led by the National Science Museum (NSM), the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) and NSTDA, in collaboration with the Science Society of Thailand Under the Patronage of His Majesty the King, brought teams of Thai students to compete with over 1,600 students from 63 countries in the world’s largest global science competition for high school. This year, a total of 14 teams from Thailand entered the competition. They were the winners of Thai Young Scientist Festival (TYSF 2023) and Young Scientist Competition (YSC 2023).
A student team from Bangkok Christian College, consisting of Poon Trakultangmun, Teepakorn Keawumdee and Pannathorn Siri with Mr. Chanan Keatsirisart as an advisor, won Regeneron Young Scientist Award of $50,000 for their commitment to innovation in tackling challenging scientific questions, using authentic research practices and creating solutions to the problems of tomorrow. The team developed an egg incubator that increases the survival rate of the green lacewing insect, a natural predator of the mealybug, a harmful plant pest. In nature, the green lacewing has a low survival rate, but this innovative incubator can increase its survivability by 5 folds, resulting in reduced pest infestations for farmers. This innovation represents an effective and sustainable biological pest control method. The team was also chosen for First Award of $5,000 in Animal Sciences.
NSM President Assist. Prof. Dr. Rawin Raviwongse remarked that eight teams representing Thailand were selected from TYSF 2023 and supported by NSM and the Science Society of Thailand. Thai teams performed well and were able to take home multiple awards, including top prizes, demonstrating scientific excellence of Thai youths.
NSTDA President Prof. Dr. Sukit Limpijumnong stated that NSTDA is committed to develop manpower in science, technology and innovation (STI) as part of its mission to leverage national STI capacity. To foster students’ scientific skills and creativity, NSTDA has been running YSC program since 1999, in collaboration with six universities in all regions in Thailand. The competition is open to students from grade 8 to 12 in nine scientific fields.
“Supporting students to compete in a global stage like Regeneron ISEF 2023 will expand their horizon and inspire them to excel further.”
Science Society of Thailand President Assoc. Prof. Dr. Thanuttkhul Mongkolaussavarat offered his congratulations to all fourteen teams representing Thailand at ISEF 2023. Opportunities to present their work in the world stage are rare and he hopes that students will cherish the experience and apply what they have learned to improve their skills.
In addition to the top accolade, Thai teams won several Grand Awards and Special Awards in various categories as follows.
1. “A Novel Non-Invasive Method to Detect Pebrine Disease in Sericulture by Using Phototaxis of Hatched Silkworm (Bombyx mori)” won Second Award of $2,000 in Animal Sciences. The team consists of Thanawit Namjaidee, Panatas Chaiprakan and Kanyarin Sriwichai from Damrongratsongkroh School, with Mr. Kiettisak Inrajsadon as an advisor.
2. “A Novel Invention of Aerial Delivery of Planting Material for Burnt Forest Restoration Inspired by the Structure of Kadsura coccinea Fruit” won Second Award of $2,000 in Earth and Environmental Sciences. The team consists of Jirapon Sengnongban, Naruephat Yajai, Prompiriya Khattiyawong from Princess Chulabhon Science High School Pathumthani, with Mr. Khunthong Klaythong as an advisor.
3. “A Sustainable Approach to Control the Destructive Red Palm Weevil Pests” won Third Award of 1,000 in Animal Sciences and Second Award Agriculture and Food Security of $3,000 presented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The team consists of Sunyapat Akkarajeerawat and Thanatkorn Chauvanasmith from Bangkok Christian College, with Ms. Wanida Bhu-iam as an advisor.
4. “Effect of the Planetary Magnetic Field on the Shape of Gas Giants' Polygons Based on Fluid Instabilities Principle” won Third Award of $1,000 in Physics and Astronomy. The team consists of Jinjuta Paripurana, Pavarit Phanichkul, and Amada Panumonwatee from Kamnoetvidya Science Academy, with Dr. Parinya Sirimachan and Mr. Sarun Nounjeen as advisors.
5. “PROSynMOGN: Enhancing Molecular Graph Neural Networks Toward Predicting Synergistic Cancer Drug Combinations Driven by Protein Expression” won Fourth Award of $500 in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. The team consists of Tisorn Naphattalung, Matin Kositchutima and Kittiphat Pongarunotai, from Kamnoetvidya Science Academy, with Dr. Thanasan Nilsu and Mr. Bundit Boonyarit as advisors.
6. “O-RA: Osteoarthritis Rehabilitation Assistant” won Fourth Award of $500 in Translational Medical Science and First Life Science Award of $1,500 presented by Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society. The team consists of Napaschol Inthapan, Kaewkla Sroykabkaew, and Krittapat Tragoolpua from The Prince Royal’s College, with Mr. Krittipong Wachirangkul as an advisor.