Evanny Trevino, a Jimmy Carter Early College High School student, emerged as the first-place winner in the environmental engineering category at the 2023 Texas Science & Engineering Fair (TXSEF) held on March 24-25 at the Texas A&M University Student Recreation Center.

Trevino’s innovative submission, titled “Plastic Waste: A Sustainable Aggregate for Concrete,” explored the potential of utilizing plastic waste as a sustainable alternative to traditional aggregates in concrete production. The project aimed to address the growing global issue of plastic waste and its environmental impact while simultaneously offering a solution to reduce the ecological footprint of the construction industry.

The annual TXSEF event, hosted by Texas A&M University’s College of Engineering, brought together the brightest young minds from across the state to showcase their innovative projects in various science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The two-day event featured over 1,200 projects from middle and high school students who had qualified through regional science and engineering fairs.

Trevino’s project caught the judges’ attention due to its practicality and potential to revolutionize the construction industry while addressing environmental concerns. The research demonstrated that incorporating plastic waste as an aggregate in concrete could improve its durability, reduce the number of natural resources used in production, and help mitigate the plastic pollution crisis.

The project involved testing various combinations of plastic and concrete mixtures to determine the optimal ratio for performance and sustainability. Trevino’s findings indicated that replacing a portion of traditional aggregates with plastic waste reduced the overall environmental impact and enhanced the concrete’s properties in specific applications.

Trevino’s win at the TXSEF highlights the importance of fostering innovative thinking among young scientists and engineers as they continue to develop solutions that address the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.

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