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DETERMINATION OF MICROPLASTICS IN SEA SAND AS A FINAL DEGREE PROJECT

J. González-Sálamo1, D.A. Varela-Martínez2, J. Hernández-Borges1

1Universidad de La Laguna (SPAIN)
2Univesidad EAN (COLOMBIA)
In Spanish universities, each undergraduate Degree has a Final Degree Project (FDP) which is an autonomous work of the student carried out during the second semester of the last course. The whole project, which should demonstrate the competences developed during the Degree, can be a theoretical, empirical or experimental work of professional application or innovation and greatly depends on the branch of knowledge. Such work should be carefully written and presented and publicly defended, following the specific guidelines of each faculty.

In the Degrees of Chemistry, Pharmacy or Biology of the University of La Laguna, the FDP is a subject of 15, 6 and 18 ECTS credits, respectively. During the established period of each FDP, the supervisor/s should explain the students the characteristics of the project, they should also guide them to ensure its compliance with the objectives established and advise them on how to write the work and to defend it publicly. Finally, the supervisor often evaluates part of it. Therefore, it is essential to establish a topic of interest and certain activities from which the student can properly and successfully develop such important subject.

In this work, we propose a simple, but at the same time, interesting and effective FDP that can be developed, depending on the way of focusing it, in the Degrees of Chemistry, Pharmacy or Biology of any university. Such FDP consists on the proper and representative sampling of beach sands and the determination of microplastics by separating and counting them using a microscope. If possible, some of the microplastics can be identified by different characterization techniques. Students of the three branches of knowledge find such topic of high interest since microplastics are nowadays a hot topic.