June 26, 2018

6th Grader Creates Device that Detects Ocean MicroPlastics

anna du
   Plastic pollution and micro-plastics in the ocean has been a major topic of discussion lately when it comes to environmental issues.  Millions of tons of plastics are dumped into the ocean every single year and it is a problem that is simply unacceptable.  Many people have worked to come up with different solutions; such as using more recyclable or biodegradable materials, banning plastic products, and even developing devices to clean the ocean.  6th Grader Anna Du of Massachusetts has come up with an idea that focuses on the latter. Her submission for the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge was a device that uses infrared to distinguish harmful ocean plastics from other non-harmful objects in the ocean.  Her device was inspired by a trip she took to the Boston Harbor; once she saw the plastic problem she was inspired to come up with a solution. As a finalist in the challenge, she will get to work with a scientist from 3M to fine-tune her device.  Check out her amazing invention below!