In summary

  • The 2021 STEMM Infographic competition encouraged students to create an infographic presentation that enhances community knowledge with their ideas to solve sustainability issues
  • Kirthanaa Sakthi and Alwi Widyananda’s won with presentation ‘This bacteria wants to eat your plastic waste’
  • Miss Sakthi and Miss Widyananda pitched the addition of plastic (PET) eating bacteria in a microplastic removal chamber to improve the wastewater treatment system  

Swinburne Sarawak students Kirthanaa Sakthi and Alwi Widyananda have won the 2021 student STEMM Infographic competition with their presentation ‘This bacteria wants to eat your plastic waste’.

Using their science communication skills, students from around the world collected data and created a digestible infographic video presentation with the Adobe Creative Cloud to boost community knowledge on how to solve sustainability problems. 

Forming a part of Swinburne’s Shaping STEMM Futures Initiative, the competition aims to enhance communication and digital literacy skills and build employability. It also provides students with training on how to use the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Convenor of Swinburne’s Communication for Scientists unit and event organiser, Dr Bita Zaferanloo, says the winning presentation addresses ‘one of the most pressing environmental issues’.

‘Their animated video visualising scientific data was able to inspire and inform the community to know more about problem and potential STEMM solution and its sustainable impact. Kirthanaa Sakthi and Alwi Widyananda made an inspiring, creative and inclusive video.’

STEMM Infographic Competition 2021 - Alwi & Kirthanaa

Kirthanaa Sakthi and Alwi Widyananda won the 2021 STEMM Infographic competition with their presentation ‘This bacteria wants to eat your plastic waste’

Miss Sakthi and Mr Widyananda are currently in their second year of the Bachelor of Science majoring in Biotechnology

Hoping to reduce plastics that are toxic to marine life in waterways, Miss Sakthi and Miss Widyananda pitched the innovative idea to add plastic (PET) eating bacteria in a microplastic removal chamber to improve the wastewater treatment system.

If implemented, it would reduce the amount of microplastics from reaching waterways, resulting in cleaner water and boosting the ability to make new PET plastic for industrial recycling. 

‘Teamwork, collaboration and planning are ingrained in us from studying at Swinburne. These vital skills enabled us to come up with our STEMM idea for the infographic,’ Mr Widyananda says.

Miss Sakthi and Mr Widyananda feel ‘extremely grateful to win’, particularly after working through time pressures and a six hour time difference, with them living in Malaysia and Zimbabwe respectively. 

The STEMM Infographic competition provided us the opportunity to express our knowledge in a fun and new format for others to learn.’

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