WINNERS OF THE 2018 ASTUTIA COMPETITION: First Place: $500 Scholarship Hana Arslanagic and Carina Kane Class of 2020 Second Place: $300 Scholarship Michelle Nguyen Class of 2018 Third Place: $250 Scholarship Juliette Morrell and Kylah Rendell Class of 2019 Congratulations to you all! 
The next Astutia Competition will open in the Fall of 2018. Antimicrobial resistance is an emerging issue that is rendering many antibiotics useless thus increasing the need to develop new antibiotics. As a result, to provide a viable solution to this imminent issue, the main focus for this project is to develop silk fibroin solutions using iron oxide nanoparticles to create a topical antibiotic that will be able to inhibit bacterial growth, withstand antibiotic resistance, and expedite the wound healing process. The results collected from the Kirby Bauer Test and Wound Healing Assay imply that the silk fibroin solutions would make an effective antibiotic fulfilling all of the requirements listed above.
After learning about the war in Syria and the pollution it is causing there, Hana and I were motivated to find a solution to help mitigate the consequences of pressing issue. After researching through several scholarly articles and books, we determined that the masks would need to be washable and that they would also need to be made out of easily accessible materials. Syrians could use a cost-effective mask made out of a breathable fabric that could be washed and reused multiple times. Our aim was to investigate which textile out of nylon, cotton, polyester and acrylic, would filter pollution the most. The pH of the water would then be tested and the acidity of it would determine how well each fabric performed. In conclusion, it was determined that polyester was the material that filtered the most pollution, the pH of the polluted water was only 6.5.
The machine that was made was to produce fresh water from salt water. During this study, we measured the amount of salt extracted from the salt water to determine if the desalination machine was successful in its purpose to produce fresh water for an area far from freshwater. Only 2.5–2.75% of the water on the planet is drinkable that is including frozen glaciers and ice caps. Due to the limited freshwater resources if proven successful our machine on a larger scale will bring fresh water to communities who are close to salt water.