The German Plastics Center (SKZ) supports STEM education as a prize sponsor in the "Jugend forscht" competition. The projects of the young researchers impressed and topics related to plastics such as "Harzi - the bioplastic" could be awarded.
Matthias Ruff, Sales Manager Education & Research at SKZ, awards the special prize "Plastics and Sustainability" to Sebastian Völker and Timo Spatz for "Harzi - The Bioplastic" (from left to right) (Photo: Rudi Merkl).
The "Schüler experimentieren / Jugend forscht" regional competition in Lower Franconia was held for the 39th time. For this, the Mainfranken region had invited to the award ceremony in the Bavarian Marktheidenfeld on February 17, 2023. As a representative of the German Plastics Center (SKZ), Matthias Ruff, Sales Manager Education & Research, was allowed to be on site and award the special prize "Plastics and Sustainability" endowed with a certificate and a cash prize. "It's amazing what projects the students and young people come up with here. I couldn't get out of my amazement," said Matthias Ruff. Plastics as a material of the future are represented in many "Jugend forscht" projects this time. However, the projects "Drug Delivery System - active substance cabs in nano format" and "Harzi - the bioplastic" were given full attention.
The project "Drug Delivery System - Drug Taxis in Nanoformat" deals with a transport system for drugs and can be used, for example, in cancer treatment. Polymer nanoparticles serve as drug cabs and can bring the drug directly to the site of application. In the award-winning project "Harzi - the bioplastic", a plastic made from renewable raw materials was developed that is 100% biodegradable or recyclable.
As a bonus to the SKZ's special "Plastics and Sustainability" award, the developers of "Harzi" also received an invitation to the SKZ to look over the shoulders of the top researchers. "We are proud of the young researchers - keep it up!" concluded Ruff in his statement. In the coming years, SKZ would like to continue supporting the "Schüler experimentieren / Jugend forscht" competition and is looking forward to the upcoming projects and ideas.
SKZ itself also conducts intensive research on bioplastics and plastics for medical applications.