The 16th European Union Science Olympiad (EUSO), concluded earlier today with a formal ceremony and presentation of medals. This year’s EUSO was held in Ljubljana and organised by the Association for Technical Culture of Slovenia (ZOTKS), starting on April 28. The Czech team A ended up in the first place, while the Estonian team A took the second. The Slovenian team A also received a gold medal and placed third in the 52-team-strong competition. In all, 6 gold, 19 silver, and 27 bronze medals were awarded.
“I would like to thank everyone involved with EUSO 2018 for the hard work they have been investing in the competition for the last three years. They dedicated substantial parts of their lives to make EUSO 2018 the best scientific and cultural experience for 156 students from 25 countries of the European Union. What struck me as most impressive is the fact that they smiled hello and beamed enthusiasm every time we met, despite having just gone through a sleepless night, with their eyes tired from evaluating teams’ results,” said EUSO founder and president, Dr Michael Cotter, thanking the organisers of the EUSO competition. “This has been one of the best weeks of our lives for all of us, and especially for the students. Thank you, Ljubljana, thank you, Slovenia, I believe this has been the best EUSO so far.”
“Knowledge is what counts in this world. Not only knowledge, but science also. Today, science stands not only for natural sciences, but has a holistic meaning encompassing everything we bring to this world to make it better. This is the reason you are here. Thank you all for sharing your ideas and thoughts. A special thank you goes out to your mentors for helping to create an atmosphere which encouraged you to search for new solutions and present new knowledge to the world. What for? For all of us, for a better society and a better world,” said the Minister of Education, Science and Sport, Dr Maja Makovec Brenčič, at the closing ceremony. “Thank you, young talents, I am certain that you are not only creating our future, but you also are our future.”
Topic of the EUSO 2018 - Wine
52 teams of 156 young scientists took part in the EUSO 2018. They competed in finding solutions to interdisciplinary problems in the field of natural sciences - biology, chemistry, and physics. Every year, these three scientific fields play roughly equal roles in the competition, with the topic being somehow related to the host country. The topic of this year’s EUSO was wine.
The first day of the competition was all about colours. Contestants were asked to analyze leaf pigments in the chemistry section of the competition. They used s special technique and solvents to separate pigments in the foliage. The physics part of the competition required students to measure the translucency of different wine samples. Based on a diagram, pre-prepared to include all regions of Slovenia, they needed to match the wine samples to their respective regions. In the biology part of the competition they studied the influence of enzymes on grape oxidation. The second day of the competition was dedicated to studying characteristics of fluids. The physics assignment included viscosity and surface tension of wine, the chemistry challenge was about measuring acidity level in wine with the help of potentiometer titration, while the biology section required contestants to specify unknown organisms, adapted to life in vineyards and orchards. Contestants conducted their experiments in the laboratories of the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology.
Seven days of socializing with peers from 25 EU countries
All EUSO Olympic activities lasted for seven days. The competition itself spanned over two days, approximately four hours per day, and was accompanied by various supplemental activities, such as excursions, social events and visits to some of Slovenia’s natural heritage sites. Participants in the Olympiad visited the Škocjan caves, the town of Piran, and the Sečovlje Salina nature park. They spent time together in the Escape rooms, City Museum of Ljubljana, and Museum of Illusions, as well as strolling along Ljubljana. They managed to form numerous new connections, which will, at least some of them, lead to further collaborations along their careers.
This year’s 16th European Union Science Olympiad is organised by The Association for Technical Culture of Slovenia (ZOTKS), a non-governmental and non-profit organisation with over 65-year-long tradition of working with children and young adults in the fields of science and technology. EUSO 2018 is financially supported by The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia, chief sponsored by Krka Company, and sponsored by ELES and COSYLAB.
Next year’s European Union Science Olympiad will be held in Almada, Portugal.
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