15
Jul
10

Science Fairs: New Innovations for a Better Planet

Science Fairs are cool again (were they ever uncool?)

Perhaps the next innovation in climate change solution can be found in a high school gym. And no, not from using the dirty gym socks, but from the science fair projects of high school students.

Science fairs are nothing new but they have come a long way from the exploding volcano or salt water ice “experiment” – students are now coming up with ideas to solve some of environment’s most complex issues.

Science! After the jump:

17 year old Kyle Schole from Alberta, Canada, recently won a gold prize at his national science fair for his project “Microbial Degredation of Vehicle Tires,” which uses a strain of bacteria to harness energy from decomposing rubber tires. He called up a few scientists from Canada, Scotland, and Australia to see which bacteria loves munching on rubber the most. In the end, he won a $6,000 cash prize and a $10,000 scholarship towards any Canadian university of his choice.

More importantly, he successfully created a microbial fuel cell that converts chemical energy released during the tire’s microbial decomposition into electricity.

Another prodigy from the great up north has come up with a science project that discovered a way to decompose plastic bags in just three months. 11th grader Daniel Burd tested various microorganisms, and optimal conditions, for their growth to snack on the plastic.

So perhaps we can get them on board to find a microorganism that can eat up the oil spill in the gulf….or atleast the BP chairman’s yacht.

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