This year as well, the students from our secondary and primary schools were at the top of the list of awarded teams in the RAISESEE awards program. Even three teams from our country are the winners of the 1000 euros prize, each for creative projects in the field of materials science, which they realized during June at the Chemistry Department. In particular, these were students from the elementary school “Borisav Stanković” from Banja Luka and students from two high schools, the Catholic School Center “Bl. Ivan Merz” from Banja Luka and the High School Center “Lazar Đukić” from Ribnik.
All three teams based their projects on local primary and secondary raw materials and the possibilities of their exploitation. Ribnik team studied wool as a natural raw material that we have in abundance. However, over a million sheep fleeces, a year remain unused due to the low quality of the fibers, and from the chemical aspect, wool contains the natural protein keratin. If keratin were isolated from wool, it could be widely used in the pharmaceutical and textile industries. A team of high school students from CSC Banja Luka researched brewer’s yeast from Banja Luka Brewery (Banjalučka pivara) and its characteristics, as well as the possibility of obtaining D-mannose, a substance of great importance in pharmacy. Considering that we have a very developed brewing industry, this is a secondary raw material with significant possibilities. The team from the elementary school “Borisav Stanković” focused their creativity and research on the mineral wealth of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a result, they made a 3D poster to which they attached miniatures of natural minerals collected in cooperation with the University of Tuzla, the Federal Institute of Geology, and the Faculty of Mining UNIBL. This poster is intended for their school and will enable an interactive introduction to the natural resources of our country to new generations of students.
In addition to their projects, the students had the opportunity to attend the performance of various experiments by their awarded colleagues from other teams, as well as the research of students at the Chemistry Department.