Four Locust Valley High School science research students earned third place in New York State Sea Grant’s Solution for Pollution contest. The team included Karen Cheung, Lisa Cheung, Griffin Postley and Nichole Tiglias. Mentored by science research teacher Gail Sobel, Ph.D., the students developed concepts for reducing trash on beaches and in waterways, specifically reducing the amount of microfibers in the Long Island Sound.
The team’s winning ideas suggested that filters be used in washing machines, clothing be washed less frequently and fiber-reducing products be used in the wash. Additionally, they recommended using liquid laundry detergent and cold water when doing laundry. The young scientists explained that microfibers are plastic fibers that are shed from textiles and are a concern to marine and freshwater environments.
The team emphasized that many people are unaware of this problem and advised that spreading the message “Microplastics is a Macro Problem” would raise awareness and ultimately reduce the amount of microfibers shed into our waterways.
Dr. Sobel said the contest was held in April while students were learning remotely, making the achievement even more meaningful under the circumstances. She said all science research students entered the contest and did a great job with their submissions.
“This further shows how wonderful our student body is at Locust Valley High School and how proud I am to have mentored them in this contest,” she said.