Even More Interdisciplinarity at This Year’s Competition

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Doctor of chemical sciences, Matej Huš, is a permanent expert contributor at ATCS in the field of chemistry and chemical science. He works as mentor for EUSO and is a member of this year’s organizational committee at EUSO. We sat down with him to talk about his expectations regarding this year’S EUSO competition, about any perceived changes in quantity and scope of the contestors’ knowledge, as well as about whether the contest prioritises some scientific disciplines over others.

In Huš’s opinion, all three natural sciences - biology, chemistry and physics - receive roughly the same amount of attention at EUSO each year. He did stress though that the organisers are getting better at integrating and designing interdisciplinary assignments every year. “We see more and more assignments which are hard to classify as they require contestants to integrate knowledge from all aforementioned fields. I await this year’s assignments with special impatiance, since the scientific board promised an even stronger interdisciplinary approach,” says Matej Huš. “I am also delighted by the fact that each year the assignments are themed to reflect the host country and this year should be no exception in this respect.”

Huš says chemistry tends to come off as predictable and boring, yet chemical methods and approach in the competition surprise with something new every year. Times when chemistry was little more than titrating and wighing precipitates are lonf gone, according to Huš.

“I am positively surprised by students every year - not only by their knowledge, which is always at a very high level, but also by their inventiveness and team spirit. For many of them, this is the first time they are faced with a difficult scientific problem, in a foreign country, with unfamiliar inventory and unexpected subject. They must must find a way to cooperate as a team of three different personalities. Each and every year they prove they are up to the challenge,” Matej Huš explains with enthusiasm.

“What makes me the happiest is when I see the diverse crowd of young people at the closing ceremony, who in just a week made friends with students from different countries. As they say about every Olmic games: I expect this year’s EUSO to be the best to date,” concludes Huš.

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Jonas Forshamn 1 year, 2 months ago

Very interesting comments on the increased interdisciplinary character of the tasks. I definitley very much look forward to see what the EUSO 2018 will entail!

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Michael A. Cotter 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you Matej. Each year the host country raises the bar for its successor and Hans and his team in Denmark certainly did that last year. However I knew that Slovenia was ready for the challenge. During my preliminary visit I discovered that they had indeed scaled new heights. To create two new interdisciplinary experiments, suitable for young EU students working in teams of three, is not an easy task. I believe that this has been achieved, once again, by a dedicated team of scientists and educationalists on the Scientific Committee.

I also agree that the transformation from shy, reluctant and hesitant individuals on day 1 to ‘best friends for life across country boundaries’ at the end of one week is a sight to behold. Credit for this achievement must go to the Organising Committee who place great emphasis on the social, cultural, sporting, musical and creative programmes designed to integrate the students and give them the confidence to benefit fully from this once in a lifetime opportunity.

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