A pair of Romanian students have won a silver medal at the International Environment and Sustainability Olympiad (INESPO), held this year in Middelburg, The Netherlands. Ștefan Iov and Alexandru Glontaru from the Tudor Vianu school won a silver medal for their research project on the use of a substance produced by spiders in adhesives. Their project, “The spider is changing the game in the adhesives industry’, studied the possible applications of a substance produced by the common garden spider, which appears as though it could be a revolutionary biomaterial in the not too distant future.
Students from around the world participated in the competition, held between June 2 and June 7 in Middelburg. Gold medals were won by teams from India, Tajikistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Poland, for projects including a technique for increasing crop yields by enriching pollination, a method of removing petrol spilled in water and a study of the impact of wind turbines on living organisms.
The Romanian team’s research was coordinated by Mircea Ignat, head of the micro-nano-electro-technology department at INCDIE ICPE-CA. The students studied the adhesive properties of the substance produced by the garden spider and several possible applications, as well as investigating how it could be manufactured on an industrial scale.
INESPO started as a research competition for Dutch students, but went international in 2010. The competition aims to foster in environmental problems and finding solutions to them via research. Projects are entered under five themes: Environment & Chemistry, Environment & Physics, Environment & Biology, Environment & Geography and Environment & Social/Civics.
photo source: INESPO on Facebook