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University College Absalon hosts biotechnology competition for high school students

Danish high school students competed to find solutions to UN Sustainable Development Goals through biotechnology. The first prize was awarded to a project for its innovative approach to reducing chemical use in the textile industry.

Photo winners biotechnology competition

Over the past few months, hundreds of students from high schools all over Denmark have been conducting experiments in their school laboratories. On November 1st, they gathered in Biotekbyen (biotech-city) Kalundborg to present their ideas and experiments to judges from various industries and educational institutions.

This year, the projects were related to fermentation, wastewater treatment, and enzyme activity. Three groups went through to the last round, where they presented their projects. A high school from the city of Fredericia won the first prize of 10,000 kr for their innovative approach to using bacteria to dye textiles instead of chemical dyes, using used cooking oil as a growth medium for the bacteria.

The judges were impressed by the creativity of the project, which addressed one of the world's most environmentally harmful industries: the textile industry. The students explored how bacteria could be used for textile dyeing and highlighted its significant sustainability potential.

While presenting their projects, the high school students had the opportunity to interact with biotech companies from Kalundborg and the surrounding area, gaining insight into the potential career paths and educational opportunities in biotechnology.

One of the participating companies, Novozymes, emphasized the growing demand for biotech skills in the industry and the importance of introducing young talents to the field.

The competition is a unique way of learning, allowing students to take the lead in solving real-world problems related to UN Sustainable Development Goals. It provided students and teachers with the opportunity to see the practical applications of their classroom learning in making a positive impact on the world.

Furthermore, students appreciated the exposure to a variety of companies in the biotechnology field and saw it as a valuable opportunity to explore potential career paths in biotech, despite the limited availability of such companies in their geographical area. They considered combining future participation in the event with visits to biotech companies in Biotekbyen for an even more enriching experience.