Türkiye’s polar research team left Istanbul for Antarctica on Monday to conduct the seventh expedition on the icy continent.
A group of 19 Turkish and three foreign scientists will work on 18 scientific projects during the expedition, said Burcu Ozsoy, the coordinator of the expedition.
Preparations for the scientific trip had started 11 months before the expedition, she added.
“If the weather allows, we will embark on a ship upon our arrival to Antarctica. We will carry out 18 scientific projects in total,” said Ozsoy, the director of Kare Institute of the Scientific and Technological Research Institution of Türkiye (TUBITAK).
3 high school students to carry out scientific studies in Antarctica
Ozsoy said three high school students are also joining the expedition after the girls won the first place last year at Teknofest, Türkiye’s largest technology and aviation event.
Speaking about their project, Zeynep Ipek Yanmaz, a high school team member, said the biological plastic they obtained from the acorn of the oak tree dissolves in 45 days instead of traditional plastics that dissolve in nature in 450 years.
“First, we presented our project to the jury in Giresun (northern Türkiye). We were selected first in the physical sciences. Then we were interviewed at Teknofest Black Sea in Samsun. We were selected first and qualified to go to Antarctica,” said Yanmaz, who is being joined by her teammates Azra Ayse Bicakci and Hilal Basak Demirel.
“Besides having young girls, the number of female scientists in our team this year is higher than in the previous expeditions. Having female scientists in the field is a great strength for us,” said Ozsoy.
“Our high school students will have a different program. They will visit the bases of other countries and meet international scientists. They will have the opportunity to work in science laboratories,” she added.