Anna - Catch Three Fish With One Worm
I have been researching some problems that are happening all around the world and narrowed down my final selection to three possible problems, which are ocean acidification, mercury, and plastic contamination in the oceans.
Ocean acidification played a key role in the Permian-Triassic mass extinction. Now, that same process is happening again caused by the large amounts of CO2 getting absorbed into the ocean. This will result in coral reef bleaching, which will affect many aspects of our lives, including the flooding of our shorelines.
Countless deaths are caused by mercury. Its results are devastating all around the world, as water travels and spread to beaches and lakes all over the world, contaminating everything everywhere it goes. Its results are catastrophic for the health of humans. It will cause muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing in humans too.
Stories of researchers and scientists are finding bodies of animals that have been strangled to death are filling the media, along with a plea to stop using plastics. Though stopping the use of plastics is a good thing, modern society has become dependent on plastics, and it would be impossible to remove plastic production in a short period of time. In the past couple of years, there have been millions of metric tons of plastics ending up in the ocean, affecting everyone as it spreads across the entire food chain. It will also gain density, which will cause it to sink to the ocean floor, making it very hard to clean up. It is an especially big problem, as plastics can bind to other organic compounds and heavy metals.
When I first heard about these problems, I was horrified by the severity of it. I wanted to do something to help so badly, so I combined what I knew and researched about science and engineering, and created something to clean up plastics in the ocean. I think that this might be what motivates 3M scientists to figure out ways to solve these problems too — A problem affects them personally, and they want to take action against it.