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Waterproofing bioplastic produced from shrimp waste

Young Portuguese scientists among the best in the world in Chemistry

The Portuguese delegation of young scientists at the Regeneron ISEF – International Science and Engineering Fair 2024, held in Los Angeles, in the United States of America, was distinguished with two awards.

The project by Madalena Filipe, Frederico Mauritty and Jéssica Nunes came in fourth place in the Chemistry category, in what is the largest competition for young scientists and engineers in the world. In addition to this prize, worth 500 dollars, students at Colégio Valsassina, in Lisbon, received a special prize from the company Mary Kay Inc., which awards scholarships and STEM learning opportunities.

Guided by professor João Carlos Gomes, the group was chosen to represent Portugal in the United States following the winning of a prize at the 2023 National Science Exhibition, organized by the Youth Foundation.

The award-winning project developed by young Portuguese people, HidroQapa, aims to produce a waterproofing bioplastic made from chitosan extracted from shrimp shell waste. Since several tons of crustacean waste are generated globally due to the mass consumption of seafood, this study contributes innovatively to the blue and circular economy.

The 2024 edition of Regeneron ISEF, an international science and engineering fair, promoted by the Society for Science organization, and whose national representation is the responsibility of the Youth Foundation, took place between May 11 and 17, in Los Angeles, and had competition projects from around 2 thousand secondary school students, from around 70 countries and regions around the world.

It is worth remembering that, through the representation provided by the Youth Foundation – as organizer of the National Science Exhibition –, Portuguese delegations sent to international exhibitions have frequently achieved distinctions. Recent examples of this are the first prizes in the 2023 editions of EUCYS – European Competition for Young Scientists, organized by the European Commission, in Brussels, and MOSTRATEC – International Science and Technology Exhibition, held annually by the Liberato Foundation, in Brazil, as well as second place in the Italian Competition for Young Scientists 2024, promoted by FAST Milano.

National Science Exhibition 2024 brings together hundreds of young scientists at Alfândega do Porto

From the 23rd to the 25th of May, more than 330 young scientists gathered at the Alfândega do Porto Congress Center for the 2024 National Science Exhibition, organized by the Youth Foundation. This is the largest national science event dedicated to young people and the culmination of the National Competition for Young Scientists and Researchers, organized annually by the Youth Foundation for 32 years. Up for grabs are around 100,000 euros in prizes, which include monetary prizes, experience prizes – such as participating in internships in Research and Development Centers or mentoring by experts – and international prizes, in which projects gain the possibility to travel and represent Portugal in the biggest science competitions in the world (namely in the United States of America, China and Brazil).

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