The Mazatlan students Génesis Ayón Loza, Samantha Carrasco Tovar, and Nathalia Martínez González, along with their mentor Professor Judith Rebeca González, triumphed at the International Festival of Science, Engineering, and Education in Romania.
Once again the young women, students of the Vasconcelos High School, raised the name of Mazatlán and Mexico internationally with their Shrimp Bioplastic project.
The Festival is only one of its kind for countries on the other continent
The International Festival of Romania is only carried out between European, African, and Asian countries, but the Mazatlecas were personally invited by the president of the Romanian Association, after they won the gold medal at the International Festival on March 21 of Science and Technology 2023, held in Tunisia, Africa.
In that edition, they stood out among 533 participating projects from all over the world, which is why it was the only team from the American continent invited to participate.
Getting to that European country was not easy, especially due to the economic issue to pay for the travel expenses, seeing the need to request the support of the Mazatlan community, authorities, and businessmen.
The Romanian Festival was held from May 1 to 7. Photo: Courtesy | Mazatlan City Hall
What is Shrimp Bioplastic?
The students’ project consists of creating bioplastic from shrimp shells, a material that could be used as a substitute for single-use plastic to reduce pollution.
What emerged as a school laboratory project led them to participate in the Sinaloa Science Expo 2022 where they obtained first place and the opportunity to go to the National Science Expo that took place in San Luis Potosí, where they won the direct pass to represent Mexico in Tunisia, Africa.
After this international presentation, there were people interested in buying his project, turning it into a business model and even taking it to the industrial part; however, one of the most important objectives of the students is to keep it in Mazatlan’s hands and continue developing bioplastic in the port.
The purpose is for it to be an applicable project, that goes beyond the school laboratory and represents a factor of change and a real solution both locally and globally to plastic pollution, which is why they are also in the process of certification before the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property.
The formula of this bioplastic allows it to be molded how the user wishes it, thin, thick, and flexible. In the future, the idea is to be able to make various items to replace single-use plastics. The interesting thing is that it takes six to 6 to 8 months to break down, it is also biocompatible with the environment and can be used as a fertilizer.