SALEM — A team of students from Queen of Peace School here won national honors May 6 in the world’s largest K-12 science competition.

Taking first place in the grade 4-6 division, the Salem youths have devised a way to use light radar and fungi capsules to detect and degrade plastic pollution in soil. The fungi plastivore purifier could help purify food and water, the winning Queen of Peace science squad explained.

The students and one parent will be flown to Washington D.C. and have the opportunity to present their ideas to Bill Nye the Science Guy at the 30th annual ExploraVision Awards on June 3. Members of first place nationally winning teams like the Queen of Peace Crew each receive a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond.

Toshiba electronics and the National Science Teaching Association sponsor the contest, which is aimed at solving problems of the future.

“Students across the U.S. and Canada have demonstrated creativity, passion and intelligence while coming up with new and innovative solutions to some of the world’s biggest, most critical issues,” said Ryuji Maruyama, CEO of Toshiba America.

Ideas were judged by a panel of scientists across various sectors of government, academic research, biotechnology science and medical research.

Other winning projects include pajamas with sleep monitoring sensors and electrodes to aid in the balance of the sleep/wake cycle, a nanobot to detect and eliminate heart disease and drone technology to create remotely operated vehicles that collect and degrade microplastics.