When 15-year-old Angelina Arora started investigating bioplastics almost two years ago, she never imagined her investigations would earn her world-wide attention.
Now, Angelina and her shrimp bioplastic will be representing Australia at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania alongside over 1,800 high school students from 75 countries, regions, and territories.
After becoming a finalist in the 2017 BHP Billiton Foundation Science and Engineering Awards for her research into the commercial viability of bioplastics, she decided to refine her research and worked with a CSIRO mentor to develop a completely biodegradable plastic made from prawn shell and sticky protein from the silk of silkworms.
It was this research that won her the Innovator to Market Award in the 2018 BHP Billiton Foundation Science and Engineering Awards, a partnership between the BHP Billiton Foundation, CSIRO and the Australian Science Teachers Association.
Angelina said her project was inspired by being asked to pay for a plastic bag at a shop which prompted her to think of a way people could still have the convenience of plastic, without the harmful environmental effects.