Great Lakes is one of the popular tourist destinations in the eastern United States and many people choose for summer vacations with family and friends. This is a place that allows them to freely immerse themselves in the pure nature, beside the clear water, soft sandy beaches and the gentle breeze blowing on the sand dunes.
However, nature is not entirely up to them, because if they are not careful, they can be injured when accidentally stepping on zebra mussel on the sand or in shallow water. Appearing in the Great Lakes decades ago, this mussel not only affects the visitor’s experience, it is also disturbing the ecosystem here. Thankfully, students of design materials at College for Creatives Studies in Detroit have come up with a method to solve this situation: Turning boys into beautiful pieces of glass.
The zebras are causing a lot of damage to the ecosystem in the Great Lakes.
Although the zebras are very small in size, when “pulled together”, they have a great impact on the ecosystem of the Great Lakes. Specifically, this animal can regenerate and filter water at a super fast speed. It sounds like nothing serious, but actually this process has caused the ecosystem here to be turned upside down: the zebra females can produce 1 million eggs a year, while the male literature you can filter 1 liter of water a day. This will eliminate the microorganisms in the water, affecting the food chain and making the water more clear. Meanwhile, the sun can easily penetrate deep into the water, creating conditions for aquatic plants to grow.
In addition, the zebra mussels may kill creatures originating from the Great Lakes, or at least compete with their food sources. Researchers have shown that, in some areas of the lake, freshwater mussels have disappeared completely after the arrival of the striped mussel.
Returning to the project of students in Detroit, they do not see the zebra as a biological threat in the Great Lakes, but only through them are “leftovers” that need to be resolved. Three students Emily Marquette, Mahsa Banadaki and Wei Huang came up with the idea to turn them into glass, and this is entirely possible based on practical science.
Design materials students turned zebras into glass to prevent disturbance to the ecosystem of the Great Lakes.
95% of the mussel crust is made up of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) – a compound found in rocks and in the shells of many marine creatures. When the compound is heated at 1000 degrees Celsius, combined with other necessary catalysts and carefully calculated, we can make glass. Besides, since striped mussels play a bioaccumulating role, meaning they are capable of filtering metals from water, the color of glass will depend on the metal color they acquire.
Basically, this group of students will collect the zebra mussels on the sand, boil them up, wipe them clean and grind them into powder. Then, they poured the powder into the mold and put it into a super hot furnace. The result is pieces of pure green glass, although no special shape but very impressive and eye-catching. The students said the green came from copper metal, often found in Lake Michigan.
The results of this project are impressive.
The whole process of turning zebra into glass of student memory in Detroit.
According to Fastcompany