Four high school students, Annicka Koteh, Anjeli Panis, Tiffany Lao, and Melissa Cheng, representing the Philippines went home triumphant as they won gold and bronze medals for their research projects in this year’s Global Environmental Issues and Us (GENIUS) Olympiad 2015 held last June 14 to 19 at the State University of New York in Oswego.
The winning projects of four senior students from Immaculate Concepcion Academy were among the 1,171 submissions from 69 applicant countries in GENIUS, which brings together gifted high school students for environmental solutions in the fields of science, arts, creative writing, engineering, design and business development. Their projects were selected along with 400 others.
Annicka Koteh and Anjeli Panis won the gold medal for their study “The Feasibility of Utilizing Sago (Metroxylon sagu) Starch and Virgin Coconut (Cocos nucifera) Oil in the Production of an Antibacterial and Biodegradable Plastic Coating.”
Their winning study proposed an eco-friendly alternative to standard fossil-fuel-based plastic coatings commonly found on paper wares, such as plates and cups which are often improperly disposed of.
Tiffany Lao and Melissa Cheng’s study “A Study on the Varying Amounts of Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVOH) and Cassava (Manihot esculenta) Starch as a Biodegradable and Water Soluble Alternative for Polystyrene Packaging Loose Fill” won bronze medal.
Lao and Cheng’s study aims to stop the prevalence of non-biodegradable polystyrene packaging “peanuts” used to provide additional cushion and fill gaps in boxes by presenting non-toxic, “green” loose fills.