SALEM — A team from Queen of Peace School here was selected as one of the regional winners of the 30th annual ExploraVision challenge, the largest K-12 science competition of problem-solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills.

Their “Fungi Plastivore Purifier” will go to the national competition.

Members of all 23 winning teams have received Chromebooks.

Queen of Peace’s team — Jonathan Barra (3rd grade), Esau Segura (4th grade), Claire Stout (4th grade), Audrey Wiegal (4th grade), and coach Maureen Foelkl — invented a solution to the problem of hazardous polyurethane breaking down in soil. Their purifier uses LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology for detecting plastic and harnessing solar energy as it hovers, so it won’t damage or destroy an environment.

The purifier stores 5D printed hemp capsules filled with the fungi Pestalotiopsis microspora. Then, using a compression system to insert capsules into the ground, the purifier releases capsules at the correct GPS coordinates and soil depth to degrade polyurethane, turning it into organic matter.

In the next phase of competition, the Queen of Peace team will advance to the national level. Members of first place national-winning teams will each receive a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond.

Since its inception in 1992, close to 450,000 U.S. and Canadian students have participated in the program.