2013 CHALLENGERS WERE TRAIL BLAZERS!

2013 CHALLENGERS WERE TRAIL BLAZERS!

STYROFOAM-EATING MEALWORMS MIGHT HELP REDUCE PLASTIC WASTE, STUDY FINDS

October 15, 2015

M3 Judge Dr. Karen Bliss (Virginia Military Institute) saw this article and immediately remembered a paper she read and scored during the 2013 Challenge.

Recently, researchers at Stanford University and Beihang University found that microorganisms in the guts of mealworms are able to biodegrade styrofoam, and therefore mealworms can actually live on styrofoam! http://m3challenge.siam.org/sites/default/files/uploads/2013-problem.jpg

These same researchers might want to get in touch with Team 1693 from Sun Valley High School in Monroe, NC, whose solution to the 2013's M3 Challenge solution was outside the box...And now we're seeing they might have just been way ahead of their time! 

The 2013 M3 Challenge problem challenged students to think about the amount of plastic waste  generated in our country, and then investigate recycling plans.  Plastic in particular is a problem  because once it is created, it takes millions of years to degrade.  At least, that's what we thought in 2013...

Team 1693, (Jennifer Capone, Michael Duchan, Hannah Hoang, Jipal Patel, and Hope Piercy), titled their submission, "Worms, The New Solution." They proposed the creation of red worm processing plants, in which red worms would feast on compostable wastes and then produce fertilizer that farmers could use for their crops. It had a fantastic "life cycle" aspect that was creative and eco-friendly!

Cheers to year 2013 Team 1693!

Styrofoam-eating mealworms might help reduce plastic waste, study finds

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