Back Society » Environment » Saigon Students Win Science Contest Silver Medals for Bodhi Tree Leaf Teabags

Saigon Students Win Science Contest Silver Medals for Bodhi Tree Leaf Teabags

Sustainable teabags made from bodhi tree (Ficus religiosa) leaves earned Ngô Trần Thảo My and Nguyễn Thiên Ngân silver medals at an international event that fosters global awareness of environmental issues amongst secondary students.

My and Ngân, both Grade 11 students at Saigon's Gia Định High School, learned from international news sources about the destructive effect of microplastics that are found in a multitude of products including teabag filters. This awareness along with the knowledge that traditional teabags take a long time to decompose naturally inspired them to embark on the project "Studies on creating the tea filter bag from leaf veins of Ficus religiosa." 

The pair selected bodhi trees, known as bồ đề in Vietnamese, to experiment with because it grows widely in Vietnam and already has various local ceremonial and decorative uses. After analyzing the leaves' chemical composition with the assistance of several testing centers to ensure they are safe for humans, they proceeded to develop a five-step process to turn them into teabags. After soaking, washing, cleaning and drying them, only the veins of the leaves remain which are then woven into teabags. They perfected the routine so that they can now create 50 teabags in two days.

My and Ngân presenting their project for the competition.

The pair spent over six months on the project while managing their regular highschool work and exam preparations. "Doing research helps us develop skills in teamwork, experimentation, presentation, rebuttal, in additional honing scienfitic thinking. This is truly a memorable milestone in our time as students," Thảo My explained in Vietnamese.

 The annual GENIUS Olympiad event is held at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York and "provides challenges and opportunities for secondary school students, to instill in them the skills and knowledge needed to be the citizens, leaders, scientists, artists, writers, engineers, and policy makers of the future," according to the organization. The virtual 2022 event featured 821 projects and 960 students from 60 countries with 599 of them receiving awards which include renewable scholarships.

In addition to Thảo My and Thiên Ngân, Vietnam received 28 total honors across creative writing, science, business and short film disciplines. Fifteen of those winners were from Gia Định High School.

[Photos via Thanh Niên]

Related Articles

in Environment

Vietnamese Students Win Earth Prize for Dragon Fruit Peel Biodegradable Sanitary Pads

A trio of Vietnamese high schoolers claimed the top prize in the environmental awareness competition The Earth Prize 2022 thanks to their project which turned dragon fruit peels into biodegradabl...

in Environment

Hanoi Students Create Green Material From Durian Rind to Aid Oil Spill Cleanup

A group of university students has created an aerogel material from durian rind which can help clean up oil spills.

in Environment

Xanh Hà Nội Aims to Plant 1m Trees to Improve Hanoi's Living Environment

Amidst glooming effects of global warming, Xanh Hà Nội’s efforts since 2017 have played a crucial role in trailblazing a community-reliant framework for keeping Vietnamese cities green.

in Environment

In Ninh Thuận, a Bamboo Scientist Builds the 'Great Green Wall' to Protect the Soil

In Ninh Thuận Province, not far from the South-Central Coast, Dr. Diệp Thị Mỹ Hạnh, a botanist, is growing a "wall" of bamboo.

in Vietnam

Vietnamese Teacher Among 50 Finalists for Global Teacher Prize 2020

The Global Teacher Prize is an annual award given out by the Varkey Foundation, a global philanthropic organization based in the UK.

in Architecture

[Photos] Inside Hue's Award-Winning Dormitory for Students in Need

A quiet courtyard, accentuated by a lone plumeria tree; rows of rooms in wood texture; walls of lattice that dot the interior with mesmerizing patterns every time the sun comes up: welcome to Betania....

Partner Content

in Partner Content

The Pizza Industry’s “Steve Jobs” Comes to Vietnam

From a small restaurant with only one oven in the basement of Syktyvkar in Russia's far north, Dodo has become the fastest-growing pizza chain in the world. It now has its sights set on Vietnam.