“Genius,” Thomas Edison famously said, “is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” He would have found a kindred spirit in Elif Bilgin, 16, of Istanbul, Turkey, winner of the 2013 $50,000 Science in Action award, part of the third annual Google Science Fair. The award honors a project that can make a practical difference by addressing an environmental, health or resources challenge; it should be innovative, easy to put into action and reproducible in other communities.
Bilgin spent two years toiling away on her project to develop a bioplastic from discarded banana peels, enduring 10 failed trials of plastics that weren’t strong enough or that decayed rapidly.
Tags: Mountain View campus, starch, cellulose, insulation, electric cables, cosmetic prostheses, health application
Source: Scientific American, 2013-06-27.