Van Anh Tran’s from Hanoi, Viet Nam, is a grade 11 student from HUS High School for Gifted Students. Van Anh has been interested in science since she was a child and is very passionate about conducting scientific experiments in the field of chemistry. She spends almost all of her time at the laboratory perfecting her ideas which tend to have many practical applications.
Van Anh has competed in many science fairs and science contests. This year, her project titled “OilSpill Clean up by Natural Sorbents from Corncobs” was a gold medal winner at the 2014 International Youth Invention Exhibition in Tainan, Taiwan. The use of crude corncobs can lead to water contamination, since crude corncobs contain degradable organic compounds, such as terpenes, starch, sugars, and so on so that modification of corncobs with chlorhydric acid can enhance not only their absorption capacity but also their stability in the nature. The results showed that modified corncobs display many efficient properties to remove oil and oily products from wastewaters, which is a great solution to a huge environmental problem.
She is also a finalist (along with her partners) at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The project titled “An Efficient Method to Extract Antimicrobial Saponins from Agave americana and their Application in Fruit Preservation” resulted in fiding an efficient way (gel-formation method) to extract saponins from the Agave americana leaf juice with low cost and high purity. The juice liquid is obtained as a discarded product from Agave fiber making process which causes harm to the environment. The fungal inhibition tests showed inhibitory activity on two fungi Fusarium oxysporum and Rhizoctonia solani after applying the obtained saponins. The bacterial inhibition tests on 4 bacteria B. subtilis ATCC 6633, E. coli ATCC 11105, S. lutea, and P. aeruginosa ATCC 27853 showed inhibitory activity on E. coli ATCC 11105 and S.lutea. The antibacterial and antifungal activity of obtained saponins shows great potential in fruit preservation. The results of her study show that a solution of 2g/L saponins prevents growth of fungi on tomatoes and bananas.
For this research Van Anh won first prize in the field of biochemistry and also won the overall first prize at the Viet Nam National Secondary Student Science and Engineering Fair 2014 and it was appreciated at Intel ISEF 2014.
After high school, Van Anh plans on attending university in a foreign country to study in the field of medicine and health. Van Anh ultimate goal is to be a great doctor. Ultimately, Van Anh is passionate about life and science; especially the field of chemistry.
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