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Lower Dauphin STEM team heads to nationals

Posted 4/24/19

Lower Dauphin High School’s team of Kelly Barr, Morgan Cummings, Annie Dickinson, Hailey Foreman and Abbie Natkin recently took first place in the state and also won first in the people’s …

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Lower Dauphin STEM team heads to nationals

Posted

Lower Dauphin High School’s team of Kelly Barr, Morgan Cummings, Annie Dickinson, Hailey Foreman and Abbie Natkin recently took first place in the state and also won first in the people’s choice category at the annual Pennsylvania Invention Convention in State College.

The teams winning project created a tapioca-based plastic to substitute for traditional polymer-based plastics. Their product can be used to make beverage can six-pack holders which will be biodegradable and not contribute to plastic pollution in oceans.

Plastioca is a biodegradable, renewable and green alternative to traditional polymer-based plastics. In addition to a lot of trial and error experimentation to come up with the right tapioca-based formula for their plastic alternative, the team used 3-D printers to create the molds in which to make the final product.

The team is coached by Lower Dauphin science teacher Elizabeth Kirman.

By virtue of their state win, they’re eligible to compete at nationals, which will be held at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Dearborn, Michigan, in late May. To reach nationals, the team is seeking donations to offset the $1,200 per student cost for plane tickets, hotels and conference registrations. To make a donation, please send a check to the LD Falcon Foundation, 291 E. Main St., Hummelstown, PA 17036 and write STEM in the memo.