INDIANAPOLIS — State Rep. David Abbott (District 82) recently honored Fort Wayne native Morgan Malm and the other winners of Purdue University’s Student Soybean Product Innovation Competition at the Statehouse.
Abbott said the contest challenges students to create a new industrial product using soybeans. The team of Malm and classmates Natalie Stephenson and Ruth Zhong took first place for their development of a biodegradable, environmentally-friendly straw dubbed “Stroy.” The trio also received a $20,000 prize for their months-long effort.
“The innovation the group showed is nothing short of remarkable,” Abbott said. “This soy-based straw `looks and feels almost exactly like a plastic straw, while being completely bio-degradable. Soybeans are used for so many things in society, and this product could potentially boost Indiana’s soybean production.”
Abbott said the group hopes to market its product to fast-food chains, restaurants, and the coffee and snack shop industry. During the project, the team developed and tested their straw while conducting market research.
“It’s feasible this invention could affect the state’s agricultural and economic growth as soybean production could rise,” Abbott said.
A group of soybean farmers, marketing specialists and scientists judged the contest at Purdue.