Perth students win UN Association of Australia award

Year 10 Shenton College students L-R: Aleena Flack (16) of Subiaco, Olivia Donati (15) of Dalkeith and Harry Brauhart (16) of Mt Claremont. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au   d496017
Year 10 Shenton College students L-R: Aleena Flack (16) of Subiaco, Olivia Donati (15) of Dalkeith and Harry Brauhart (16) of Mt Claremont. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d496017

CREATING a quick-to-dissolve fishing line has won three Shenton College students a UN Association of Australia Global Goals Challenge Award.

Year 10 Stem (science, technology, engineering, maths) student team Harry Brauhart, Olivia Donati and Aleena Flack won the award against 38 statewide teams of secondary school students.

Aleena said the team wanted to solve the problem of line entanglement and decided to make fishing line out of dissolvable surgical sutures.

“Dissolvable surgical sutures are made of poly glycolic acid and the coating of our fishing line was poly lactic-co-glycolic-acid with modified polyethylene,” she said.

“It’s a dissolvable polymer and breaks down in the water after a month, which means animals don’t get tangled in the fishing lines.”

Olivia said their prototype would make fishing safer as the fishing line would break down faster if it remained in the ocean.

“In case it goes into the ocean, fishermen will know it will break down and not endanger animals,” she said.

“There is a biodegradable fishing line but it breaks down in five years and that’s a long time sitting in the ocean.

“Normal nylon fishing lines take 600 years or more to biodegrade but our prototype takes roughly a month to biodegrade.”