Iago Lima Prado
Iago Lima Prado, 16, of Itumbiara-Goiás, a third-grade high school student at Centro De Educação Em Período Integral Dom Veloso, is dedicated to addressing environmental problems, and played a leading role in an innovative effort to use bovine whey – a protein made from scraps of milk and cheese – in the development of a natural fertilizer. After a conversation between students at his school about dairy companies’ use of bovine whey, Iago and his study group worked with a biology teacher to develop a natural fertilizer produced from sugar cane treated with bovine whey. They evaluated the initial development of sugar cane and applied discarded whey, which they collected from companies and cheese producers, at different levels. More than 60% of the region's agricultural producers and dairy companies started to adopt the idea, leading several producers to adopt this more sustainable practice. They also considered the problems affecting the environment, leading them to find a more useful destination for this vitamin- and protein-rich compound.
The project was selected for the Technology, Engineering and Science Fair of Mato Grosso do Sul. “It was gratifying to see that all our teamwork led us to break new ground, and that a public-school student can solve an apparently very difficult problem complex,” Iago said. “It is actions like this that have an impact on us and give us more courage to work on our actions."