PCTI STEM Academy Students Win Big at Life Science Diversity Conference

Students from Passaic County Technical Institute’s (PCTI) Diana C. Lobosco STEM Academy recently competed in a Shark Tank style competition as part of the Life Science Diversity Conference. STEM Engineering Instructor Atiya Harley and her students had two weeks to prepare a project. The result was “No-Plas,” a biological way of speeding up the decomposition of plastic bottles in landfills via the enzyme ideonella sakaiensis, an entry that earned PCTI students third place at the competition!

The PCTI team created two versions of their product – a mist that’s applied to garbage bags and a pad that’s disposed of with garbage. Both concepts utilize bacterium to break down polyethylene.

PCTI’s team consisted of freshmen Cole Hafner, Janet Johnson, Kaylee Lall, Kyra Macvaugh, and Jonathan Saldarriaga. Besides winning third place overall among upper classmen teams, students also took home one thousand dollars for their school.



PCTI’s STEM Academy students Cole Hafner (Ringwood), Janet Johnson (Wayne), Kaylee Lall (Ringwood), Kyra Macvaugh (Wayne), and Jonathan Saldarriaga (Paterson) won third place at the Shark Tank Life of Science Diversity Conference with their “N-Plas” submission.