Testing the Waters

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What is the age of water in aquifers? Shifa Mahamid, a high school student from the Arab city of Umm al-Fahm near Haifa, has been conducting research to try to answer this question. This research earned her 3rd prize in the "Young Scientists in Israel" competition run by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, and led to her participation in the European Union contest. During her studies, Shifa's teachers suggested she expand her research under the supervision of Head of the Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory Dr. Elisabetta Boaretto of the Weizmann Institute's Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science. There, Institute scientists showed Shifa how to use radiocarbon dating to calculate the age of water in aquifers that is up to several thousands of years old.


Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (center) and Minister of Education Yuli Tamir (third from right) meeting with students, including Shifa Mahamid (fourth from right), who represented winners of the "Young Scientists in Israel" competition over the years