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Educate Magazine - 2021-09-01

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Schools amazing result

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From a two-way AI-enabled British Sign Language (BSL) translator to a self-contained digester box that uses mealworm larvae – the innovation and quality of this year’s winners of the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize was incredible! An expert panel of judges had the really challenging task of selecting only four teams out of 40 to receive prizes. Congratulations go to Life Sciences UTC students for being awarded runners up by Lauren Kisser, director at Amazon’s Development Centre in Cambridge and Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize judge, at the virtual awards ceremony. Lauren said: “Every entry in this year’s final has demonstrated serious ingenuity and creativity. It has been really exciting to see the finalists commit themselves to the process and develop their ideas into prototypes with support from Amazon mentors.” Life Sciences UTC entry, Plasticivore – Insect-Powered Plastic Digester by The Real Meal team, Plasticivore is a selfcontained digester box, designed for both homes and businesses, that uses mealworm larvae to break down nonrecyclable plastic waste. Using sensors, the box can be remotely monitored to ensure optimal conditions for decomposition. The judges commended the teamwork clearly shown in this project and were impressed by the forward-thinking concept. They believed the project was innovative and showed a lot of work to develop an alternative solution to a common problem, and were particularly impressed with the team’s prototype that works in real life. Dr Dyer said: “It has been a real pleasure working with such a creative, motivated and talented group of young scientists and engineers to develop an innovative product to tackle the problem of single-use plastic pollution. They thoroughly deserved to win this award.”

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