Students with ‘bioplastic project’ attend science expedition in Antarctica

Students who came first with their "bioplastics from acorns" project in The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Türkiye's (TÜBİTAK) High School Students Polar Research Projects Competition had the opportunity to test their project in Antarctica.

İstek Antalya School's students Zeynep İpek Yanmaz, Azra Ayşe Bıçakçı and Hilal Başak Demirel participated in the High School Students Polar Research Projects Competition organized by TÜBİTAK with their "Domestic and National Bioplastic Material Production Project to Prevent Bioplastic Pollution in Polar Oceans," managing to produce a material that can dissolve in nature in 45 days and is 20 times more durable than plastics.

The students had the opportunity to participate in the 7th National Antarctic Science Expedition upon the recommendation of Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank, who examined their projects at TEKNOFEST events in Giresun.

The students visited the science bases of different countries and listened to the projects of the scientists, and had the opportunity to successfully test their project in Antarctica.

"We did a lot of research for our study. We realized that materials such as corn, rice and wheat, which are consumed as food, are used in the production of bioplastics and these are not sustainable," said Zeynep İpek Yanmaz, the team's spokesperson.

"We started to think about what we could use as an alternative. We decided on oak acorns because they are widely available in Türkiye," she said.

The students participating in the expedition conducted a three-day field study, visiting Collins Glacier and Ardley Island, meeting with scientists at the Chilean Escudero Base on King George Island and asking them questions about climate change.

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