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Palestinian School Girls Invent 'Seeing' Walking Stick for the Blind


World  (tags: Palestine, "Stick-tech", Blind, Walking Stick )

Dave
- 3321 days ago - youtube.com
"Three schoolgirls in the West Bank have developed a life-changing device for the blind. It's an advanced cane called "Stick-tech", and they're taking it all the way to the U.S. to show it off. . ."



   

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Dave C (867)
Thursday May 13, 2010, 9:52 am
Palestinian Girls Invent 'Seeing' Walking Stick for Blind.

NABLUS, West Bank — When Palestinian teenager Aseel Abu Leil looked around her hometown of Nablus for inspiration for the world's largest science fair, she couldn't help but note the obvious.

"We are not known for peaceful science here," the 14-year-old said.

Nablus, which was a flash point for violence during the first and second Palestinian uprisings, was later identified by Israel as the hub for the production of rockets and suicide bomber vests.

"I didn't look outside, I looked home," Aseel said. That's where she noticed some of the logistical problems that her blind aunt faced.

Along with classmates Aseel Sha 'ar and Nour El Arda, she invented an obstacle-detecting walking stick. They entered the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair alongside 6 million global contestants, and were chosen to be among 1,500 finalists to attend the world's largest science fair next month in San Jose, Calif.

"We are very proud. To go, to compete at Intel and show our work. This is very, very important," Nour said. "I am proud of what we have done. There was already one (walking stick) that could sense objects ahead, and another one that could find holes, but nobody combined the two."

The three girls clasped arms as they demonstrated their invention on the courtyard steps of their school. A rough cane made of local pine, it has two infrared sensors that scan forward and downward to detect changes in the terrain and help the user "see" obstacles ahead. It issues various high-pitched beeps to alert the user.

"We all want to grow up to do important things," said Aseel Abu Leil , who wants to be a gynecologist. Aseel Sha 'ar and Nour said they wanted to go into the sciences and education, respectively.

"We, as women, have brains too. As good as anyone else," Aseel Abu Leil said. "We have shown what we can do."

Intel provided funding for only two of the three girls to travel to San Jose . They flipped a coin, and Aseel Abu Leil was left out.

"I was very much sad. . . . I cried," she said, exchanging glances with her two friends. "But what is important is that our stick will be shown at Intel ."

Sitting in front of dozens of their classmates, the three girls told the story of their invention this week and gave a demonstration.

Chris Gunness , a spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency , which funds the girl's school in Nablus, surveyed the invention before he turned his attention to Aseel Abu Leil .

UNRWA, he told them, had raised enough money to make sure that she could travel with her friends to the Intel fair.

Teenage shrieks broke the sober and professional demeanor the girls had displayed. Hugging, crying and giggling, Aseel Abu Leil said that it was "the most important thing, the biggest thing" that had ever happened to her.

"It is so big. I cannot say," she said. "To travel, to represent my people. . . . I will remember this the rest of my life."

Gunness said the girls represented the importance of the UN agency's school system, which serves more than a quarter of a million children in the Palestinian territories.

"UNRWA and Intel firmly believe that empowering the next generation to think rationally and scientifically is a real contribution. Obstacles, global obstacles, can be overcome with the right mindset. These girls illustrate that beautifully," Gunness said.

http://www.canada.com/technology/Palestinian+girls+invent+seeing+walking+stick+blind/2961035/story.html
 

Matloob ul Hasan (81)
Friday May 14, 2010, 12:32 am
Noted, thanks.
 

Tim Redfern (581)
Friday May 14, 2010, 12:51 am
Grand kudos to this brilliant young lady,
working under the most impossible conditions,
in one of the world's most oppressed places.
I'm sure the Israelis were not pleased, but they
don't matter a whit in comparrison to this genius teen.

Thanks, Dave, for sharing a beautiful story!
Kudos to you too, matey! :-)
noted.
 

Past Member (0)
Friday May 14, 2010, 2:34 am
Perhaps she should give one to Netanyahu so he can see the damage he is doing to Palestine?
 

Bob E (113)
Friday May 14, 2010, 3:28 am
Nice.. wonderful story… Great to see Palestinians not being portrayed as terrorists but as people… Stories like this give us hope… hope that the Palestinians will one day have their homeland WITH EAST JERUSALEM…

Somehow we have to be patient and hope that few as possible Palestinians will die and suffer on the road to their destiny… to their rightful place in human history...
 

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Friday May 14, 2010, 7:27 am
David you are right one stick must be given to Netanyahu others must be given to all the current and may be priviouse leaders of that Zionist entity.Palestinians are smart under occupation and will be smarter under the roof of their own free Palestine.
 

Cathi Hartline (248)
Friday May 14, 2010, 12:48 pm
How awesome! kudos to them!! Thank you Dave for the link!
 

Ellyn S (48)
Friday May 14, 2010, 2:24 pm
WONDERFUL! Think what the Palestinians could do if they weren't under the giant thumb of the Israeli leadership.
 

chris b (2474)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 3:10 am
I do hope this young girls achieve success with this invention. Amazing what can be born out of adversity!
 

Jane J. (6)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 3:44 am
Wow, such an achievement for such young ladies! Just goes to show what you can do with yourself, at any age, if you care enough about something and try your hardest.
 

Denny S (5)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 4:28 am
Amazing achievement, Inspiring story. Thanks Dave and Noted.
 

Terry B (649)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 4:32 am
Kudos to the bright young ladies. The double sensors providing communications for the unfortunates who are both bilnd and deaf is especially clever and shows their inventiveness.

However, I am communicating with megabillion dollar Intal about how disappointed I am that their nickel-and-dime policies leave out one of the worthy winners from what must be the trip of a lifetime for these teens, and also be left out of the science fair and presentration ceremonies that her two friends will enjoy. What a cheapskate decision. There is still time to have it reconsidered, and I would encourage all Care2 users who care to get on Intel's case.
 

Monica D (580)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 4:40 am
Brilliant!
 

Kelly H (22)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 4:53 am
I think this is amazing! We always make do with what we got!
 

Dave C (867)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 5:05 am
Terry.
If you took the trouble to read the story to the end. . . all three girls will be making the trip to the US:

"Chris Gunness , a spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency , which funds the girl's school in Nablus, surveyed the invention before he turned his attention to Aseel Abu Leil .

UNRWA, he told them, had raised enough money to make sure that she could travel with her friends to the Intel fair.

Teenage shrieks broke the sober and professional demeanor the girls had displayed. Hugging, crying and giggling, Aseel Abu Leil said that it was "the most important thing, the biggest thing" that had ever happened to her.

"It is so big. I cannot say," she said. "To travel, to represent my people. . . . I will remember this the rest of my life."

Gunness said the girls represented the importance of the UN agency's school system, which serves more than a quarter of a million children in the Palestinian territories.

"UNRWA and Intel firmly believe that empowering the next generation to think rationally and scientifically is a real contribution. Obstacles, global obstacles, can be overcome with the right mindset. These girls illustrate that beautifully," Gunness said."
 

Mike M (8)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 5:16 am
Noted.... good work....
 

Terry B (649)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 5:26 am
Thanks for the clarification, Dave. I admit that I only scanned the long post after watching the video. However, that still does not remove the blemish from megamonopoly Intel's initial decision if UNWRA had to chip in its limited funds to cover the third inventor.
 

Naoko i (257)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 5:49 am
What a wonderful story.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 9:44 am
nice story.
 

Dave C (867)
Saturday May 15, 2010, 10:05 am
Thank you Ambrose,
Your rational, thoughtful, and reasoned contributions to news items are very much appreciated.

This latest story's not so nice, but regrettably, not very surprising:

'Israeli Girl Repeatedly Kicked and Scraped Along the Road By Israeli Soldiers.'

http://www.care2.com/news/member/986137489/1502318
 
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