The formal opening ceremony of the 16th European Union Science Olympiad (EUSO) was held yesterday in Ljubljana. The Olympiad will close on May 5. Under the patronage of The Association for Technical Culture of Slovenia (ZOTKS), 156 young scientists, aged 16 years or younger, will compete in solving interdisciplinary assignments in natural sciences - biology, chemistry and physics. 52 teams from 25 EU countries entered the competition, accompanied by around 100 mentors and chaperones.
“Dear young scientists, try hard and show the world the best you can do. Fight for top results to the best of your abilities. Your future and the future of our planet depend on your persistence in acquiring knowledge and skill. The human race has found itself at a crossroad. Technologies we had developed in order to make our world a better place, threw this very world out of its great natural balance. We need new solutions for technological development in order to save our nature, conserve resources for future generations, and allow everyone in the world equal access to advantages of development. Only those who dare to try, will be able to succeed,” said Alojz Kovšca, President of the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia, in his address to the young contestants and other guests.
“EUSO gives young people the opportunity to take part in a one of a kind experience of scientific team competition. Taking part in the Olympiad provides students with a chance to acquire learning experience outside the formal curriculum. Science is beneficial because the knowledge it produces is strong and trustworthy. Science is used in developing new technologies, curing diseases and solving numerous other problems. Science is exciting and never-ending. Scientists are motivated by their enthusiasm of seeing or finding something that has not been seen or found before. These new discoveries lead to new questions, which prompt new research. Science will never be over,” said Katja Stopar, M.Sc., national coordinator for EUSO 2018 in Slovenia at the formal opening ceremony.
“Ljubljana is a city where we focus our attention on young people among other things, their quality of life, education and developing their potential and talents, because we are aware that quality services for children and youth are the best way for a successful, happy and fulfilled life of each individual, while at the same time this is the most important investment in the successful development and progress of our city,” Zoran Janković, Mayor of the City of Ljubljana, said in his address to the young contestants of the European Union Science Olympiad.
It is all about team work and meeting one’s peers
All EUSO Olympic activities last seven days and in addition to the competition include various accompanying activities, e.g. excursions, social events and visits to some of Slovenia’s natural heritage sites. The competition itself spans over two days, approximately four hours per day. During this time, students are involved in assignments in natural sciences - biology, chemistry and physics. Contestants arrive at scientific solutions by successfully completing experiments. This year, the teams will carry out experiments at the laboratories of the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology. Contestants are expected to excel in laboratory as well as team work. It took members of the scientific board of the organising country - this year it was composed of 12 members - over a year to devise the assignments.
Demanding job for the mentors
The week-long competition offers mentors the opportunity to exchange views on the field of natural sciences or individual science subjects in different countries, as well as discuss different curricula, exchange teaching materials and experience, and confront their views on the latest developments in science. Mentors are required to translate the assignments from English to their own language the day before each competition. Expert discussions on the assignments are held simultaneously with the translation process.
The closing ceremony, announcement of results and award ceremony will be held on May 4, at 4 p.m., in Festivalna Hall at Pionirski Dom, Ljubljana.
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.
The European Scientific Olympiad (EUSO) is a team competition for high-school students aged 16 or under. Students compete in solving interdisciplinary problems in the field of natural sciences - biology, chemistry and physics. The competition was founded and started by Dr Michael Cotter in 2003 and has been successfully organised ever since, each year in a different EU city.
About The Association for Technical Culture of Slovenia
The Association for Technical Culture of Slovenia (ZOTKS) is 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. The association has played a pioneering role in introduction of modern information technology to different segments of Slovenian society. Its activities span over various technical fields, such as electronics, robotics, construction and technologies in processing of materials, as well as over the fields of chemistry, biology, model-making and agriculture. It strives to popularize science and technology among children and young adults, as well as encourage and develop their creative, innovative and inquisitive spirit.
The ZOTKS programme is partly financed by the Slovenian Research Agency, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth, and others. Additional information on organisation is available at: www.zotks.si.Share on Twitter Share on Facebook