Silver medal for Portuguese students’ project in science competition in China

Ovar students twice distinguished in one of the largest pre-university science competitions in Asia

André Silva, Carolina Leite and Lara Pereira, the 3 young scientists who represent Portugal in China in one of the largest pre-university science competitions in Asia, CASTIC – China Adolescents Science and Technology Innovation Contest, have just been awarded the second place of competition, in the category of international projects (International Students).

In addition to the silver medal, Portuguese scientists were also distinguished with the Special Award by the Indonesian Young Scientist Association, an award that gives access to a new competition promoted by this institution.

Coordinated by Professor Carlos Oliveira, students from Escola Secundária Júlio Dinis, in Ovar, presented at the event the project that was distinguished at the National Science Exhibition, organized by the Youth Foundation, and which guaranteed them access to this competition. “Larvae: Plague or Solution?” tested the biodegradability of plastic and also of Styrofoam using mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) and wax moth larvae (Galleria mellonella). These species – generally recognized as pests for cereals, stored products, or bee hives – have shown potential for faster degradation of expanded polystyrene and various types of plastic (synthetic, recycled, and biodegradable), potentially opening up new ways to deal with These materials decompose slowly and are highly concentrated in the environment.

Annually, CASTIC is organized by the Chinese Association of Science and Technology and the Chinese Ministry of Education, with 37 editions. The 2023 edition will take place in Wuhan. Annually, CASTIC hosts scientific projects in various areas – from social sciences to astronomy, including environmental sciences –, bringing together more than 500 students from all over China and around a hundred international participants.

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