Students Representing Armenia Make Finals at The Earth Prize International Competition

12th grade students at Ayb school in Armenia conducted research and ran several experiments in preparation for The Earth Prize competition

A team of Armenian students has made it to the final stage of The Earth Prize international environmental sustainability competition.

12th grade students of Ayb school, Ilya Lalazaryan, Nane Yengibaryan, and Meri Shushanyan are representing Armenia with “RenéMask”—a project dedicated to recycling medical masks. Chemistry teacher Lilit Hambardzumyan is the scientific supervisor of the project.

A total of 650 teams, from 516 schools, representing 114 countries applied to participate in the competition.

In the final stage, the Armenian team will compete with teams from Great Britain, Vietnam, Switzerland, Taiwan, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Jamaica, and Kenya. Eton Collage (Great Britain), Havergal College (Canada), International School of Zug and Luzern (Switzerland) and others are among the top ten schools.

The idea for RenéMask was developed by team member Lalazaryan. Under the guidance of chemistry teacher Lilit Hambardzumyan, and after conducting research, running experiments, and holding several discussions at the school, Lalazaryan developed a method for obtaining fuel from face masks in the laboratory.

Thus, RenéMask offers a solution to two major problems: environmental pollution and growing demand for alternative energy sources. Through chemical processing of masks, it is possible to get liquid fuel, which can be used in heat transfer devices and some engines.

The Earth Prize is an environmental sustainability competition for teams of 13 to 19-year-old students. The winning solution will have the potential to make an impact on the real-world.

On March 25, one of the finalist teams will be announced as The Earth Prize Winner and will receive a prize of $100,000, to be split between the team members and their school. The three runner-up schools will be awarded $25,000 each.