Mr. Fionn Ferreira, An Irish Teenager, Won The 2019 Google Science Award For A Project On Microplastics
In 2011, Google started the Google Science Fair, where students between the age group 13 to 18 can submit their experiments. The winner was awarded US$ 50,000 in an award ceremony at Google international headquartered in California. The competition is sponsored by National Geographic, Virgin Galactic, Lego, and Scientific American. Microplastics are very small pieces of plastic having a diameter of less than 5mm that pollute the environment. These plastics are too small for filtering during water and wastewater treatment. Microplastics are often included in facial scrubs, shower gels, and soaps for their ability to exfoliate the skin.
These plastics enter into water and are very difficult to remove through filtration. As per to the United Nations Environment Programme, the plastic microbeads a type of microplastic was used in personal care products. To overcome the problem in December 2015, President of USA signed an Act the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, though which plastic microbeads were banned in personal care and cosmetic products. Fionn Ferreira, a student from Ireland, also works at the Schull Planetarium as a curator has won Google Science Fair 2019 for the project which aims to remove microplastics from the water.
Mr. Ferreira has 12 science awards at BT Young Scientist Awards and as a recognition of his achievement at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2018 at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory a minor planet was named after him. The young scientist used magnets to filter microplastics from bodies of water. Fionn used a magnetic liquid called ferrofluid that attracted the plastic and removed the plastic particles from the water. According to Fionn Ferreira, following thousands of tests, his project could remove at around 87% of microplastics from the water samples. According to the Vice-president of Google, behind every ambitious student teachers and parents who cheer them and help them to keep learning.