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Lisbon, 29th September 2010

22nd EU Contest for Young Scientists: best young brains battle it out in Lisbon

In Lisbon today, young scientists from Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary were acclaimed as 1st prize winners of the European Union Contest for Young Scientists 2010. The projects, which analysed physics, biology and social sciences were selected from 85 projects coming from 37 countries by an International Jury. Second prizes, third prizes and the International prize were awarded to 7 other projects, from Poland, Germany, Portugal, Latvia, Italy and Brazil. The 16 winning contestants, aged from 14 to 21, shared a total of € 51.500 in prizes for their top-quality innovative scientific projects. Information on the winners and on all of the projects presented is available at http://ec.europa.eu/research/youngscientists/index_en.cfm.

"The EU Contest for Young Scientists is a showcase for the best student scientific achievements across Europe. I warmly congratulate the winners and everyone who took part: they are fantastic ambassadors for their schools and universities, for their countries and regions and for today's youth." said European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. "It is through investing in youthful talent with fresh ideas and giving them the right scientific career opportunities that we will make Europe a world-class science performer and build a true Innovation Union. Young people like these will help shape the future – and I think we are in good hands. It is especially encouraging to see that the three first prizes have all gone to students from the new Member States."

Androulla Vassiliou, the Commissioner responsible for education, echoed this, saying: "Science is a litmus test for the societies we live in: it impacts on all our lives, providing us with safer and plentiful foods, better health, greener transport, access to information, music on the move, SMS, high-definition television - the list is endless. Science makes a difference and that's why the European Commission backs the EU Contest for Young Scientists and invests millions of euro for science through the Framework Programme for Research, the Marie Curie fund, Erasmus and other schemes. We must continue to invest in the best! "

The Museum of Electricity in Lisbon (Portugal) has over the last few days hosted 125 contestants from 37 countries across Europe and beyond, including Canada, the USA, China, and Brazil. From 24-29 September, the students presented 85 projects to an International Jury chaired by Prof Hagit Messer-Yaron. These projects had already won first prize in their national contests. The topics covered a broad spectrum of scientific areas: biology, chemistry, computing, social sciences, environment, mathematics, materials, engineering and medicine. The standard of entries is consistently high, and several past participants have achieved major scientific breakthroughs, or set up businesses to market the ideas developed for the Contest.

Background:

The European Union Contest for Young Scientists was set up by the European Commission to facilitate co-operation and interchange between young scientists with similar abilities and interests and to give them an opportunity to be guided by some of the most prominent scientists in Europe.

The Contest aims to encourage young people who have an interest in science to embark on scientific careers.

It is part of the Science and Society programme under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7).

This year, the EU prizes were presented by Ms Anneli Pauli, Deputy-Director General at the Research DG of the European Commission, together with Prof. Hagit Messer-Yaron, President of the Jury.

The contest started in 1989 with the participation of 15 countries. This year, 37 countries and one of the European Schools are taking part in the 22 edition of the contest. 

A total of 2074 participants (627 girls - 1447 boys) have competed since the start of this International event. More than 500 prizes have been distributed!  

More information about the EU Contest for Young Scientists, including photos, success stories, biographical details of the jury and descriptions of all projects can be found at:

http://ec.europa.eu/research/youngscientists/index_en.cfm

Annex 1

PRIZE-WINNERS

22nd European Union Contest for Young Scientists

FIRST PRIZES (€ 7.000 per Project)

Country

Czech Republic

Contestants

Miroslav Rapcak ( 19 )

David Pegrimek (19)

Scientific Field

Physics

Project Title

Complete Phase Diagram Of CO2 Nanoclusters

Short Summary

Complete Phase Diagram of CO2 Nanoclusters Miroslav Rapcak, David Pegrimek Nanoclusters (clusters) are aggregates of a few particles. For the past decades it has been accepted that clusters constitute a new and exciting form of matter with exotic properties used in nanotechnology. Nowadays, temperature dependences of properties are being studied. In the future applications of clusters, they will be surrounded by other particles that impact them by pressure. There exist no complex study of cluster properties dependence on the pressure. We have studied carbon dioxide clusters. Knowledge of CO2 clusters properties is much behind the knowledge of properties of other clusters. CO2 clusters become important for the surface erosion methods that provide an arbitrary surface structure or high friction surfaces. Studying of CO2 clusters at high pressures can provide a way to store CO2 into the ocean to avoid greenhouse ect.

Country

Poland

Contestants

Lukasz Sokolowski ( 20 )

Scientific Field

Biology

Project Title

Foraging Strategy Of The Ant Formica Cinerea

Short Summary

The goal of the research was to discover how the ants Formica cinerea search for food. Another aim was to check if F. cinerea are able to share information about the quality of food. Observation of wild F. cinerea colonies showed, that they use a strategy called “mass recruitment”. Ants using this strategy create a column leading from the nest to food. They use pheromones to mark the way. Observation of ant colonies kept in a special terrarium (formicarium) showed that the ants can share information about the quality of food. They can also switch from food of lower quality to the better one, but they do it slowly. The strategy used by F. cinera is not the most effective, but thanks to using it, F. cinerea avoids fights with T. caespitum, another ant living in the same environment. T. caespitum uses a more flexible foraging strategy called “group-mass recruitment“. That’s why ants of these two species do not compete for the same sources of food and do not fight with each other.

Country

Hungary

Contestants

Dávid Horváth ( 20 )

Márton Balassi ( 20 )

Scientific Field

Social Sciences

Project Title

Nature On Your Screen - Computer Based Modeling And Local Area Network In The Education Of Ecology

Short Summary

The crisis in science education gets much public attention these days as natural sciences are amongst the least popular subjects. Our starting point was to examine which programs we and our peers like using the most and which of these are the ones that can be implemented in classroom, so we decided to write a computer model to support ecology education. In our model by choosing external parameters to affect the ecosystem, it is also possible to model natural or anthropogenic effects such as migration, supporting certain trophic levels or spreading pesticides or pollutants. Using the program individually or in network provides an interactive tool for showing the main characteristics of ecosystems while developing mathematical competence, environmental consciousness, problem-based approach and creativity. We have also compiled a teaching aid including some stable configurations, lesson plans and ideas to assist further classroom implementation.

SECOND PRIZES (€ 5.000 per project)

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

Poland

Justyna Slowiak

19

Biology

Biodiversity, Palaeoecology And Taxonomical Position Of Vertebrates In The Middle Triassic Sea Ecosystem In Silesia (sw Poland)

Germany

Simon Schuldt

19

Engineering

Aircraft Of The Future - A Practise-based School Project

Germany

Luca Banszerus

Michael Schmitz

18

19

Physics

Production And Charaterization Of Graphene Devices

THIRD PRIZES (€ 3.500 per Project)

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

Latvia

Aleksejs Sazonovs

18

Computing

Applying Image Recognition Methods For Classification Of Astronomical Images

Italy

Davide Giacinto Lucarelli

Niccolò Pozzi

Stefano Sanfilippo

19

19

19

Mathematics

An Analysis of the Network of Chemists within the City of Monza

Portugal

Inês Alexandra Costa Kristoffer de Sá Høg

18

19

Environment

Rocks Of The Southwest - The Mysteries Written On The Stone

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION PRIZE (€ 5.000 per project)

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

Brazil

William Lopes

20

Biology

Utilization Of The Fungus Aspergillus Niger On Wastewater Treatment Ii

HONORARY AWARDS

Stockholm International Youth Science 2010

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

Czech Republic

Miroslav Rapcak

David Pegrimek

19

Physics

Complete Phase Diagram of CO2 Nanoclusters

Poland

Lukasz Sokolowski

20

Biology

Foraging Strategy Of The Ant Formica Cinerea

London International Youth Science Forum 2011

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

Hungary

Dávid Horváth

Márton Balassi

20

20

Social Sciences

Nature On Your Screen - Computer Based Modeling And Local Area Network In The Education Of Ecology

SPECIAL DONATED PRIZES

There are 25 special donated prizes: a five-day visit of a technical and cultural nature to the

European Patent Office in Munich and a one-week stay at each of the seven members of

EIROforum[1]:

• CERN: The European Laboratory for Particle Physics

• EFDA: The European Fusion Development Agreement

• EMBL: The European Molecular Biology Laboratory

• ESA: The European Space Agency

• ESO: The European Southern Observatory

• ESRF: The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

• ILL: The Institut Laue-Langevin

The European Patent Office, Munich, Germany

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

Switzerland

Andrea Agazzi

Mauro Salazar

19

20

Chemistry

Nanotechnology From Natural Tissues. Realization Of Catalytic Systems With High Active Surface From Spongy Bone.

Switzerland

Christian Meier

Thomas Vögeli

20

20

Engineering

Mts – Magnetic Transport System

Germany

Simon Schuldt

19

Engineering

Aircraft Of The Future - A Practise-based School Project

EIROForum Prizes

CERN: The European Laboratory for Particle Physics

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

Belarus

Volha Shumskaya

17

Mathematics

Extremal Properties Of L.c.m. And G.c.d. For Sequences

EFDA-JET

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

Latvia

Janis Smits

18

Physics

Optimization Of Synthesis Conditions Of Lithium Iron Phosphate And Development Of A Thin Layer Battery

ESA

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

Slovak Republic

Bejdová Vladimíra

19

Physics

New Binary Star In The Field Of Cn And

EMBL

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

United Kindgom

Raghd Rostom

19

Biology

Embryonic Chick Bones As A Model For Osteogenic And Chondrogenic Differentiation In Stem Cells

ESO

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

Israel

Pavel Fadeev

19

Physics

An Exploration Of Hii Star-forming Regions

ILL

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

Bulgaria

Radko Kotev

18

Mathematics

A New Solution Of The Apollonius Problem

ESRF

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

Italy

Sebastian Cincelli

19

Engineering

Eu.r.ex.- Eusocial Rovers For Exploration

Host Organization Special Donated Prizes

The ADENE – Agency for Energy Special Prize

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

Ireland

Richard O’Shea

19

Engineering

A Biomass Fired Cooking Stove For Developing Countries

France

Rémi Ounadjela

Kaiqiang ZHANG

Victor Mizrahi

17

18

17

Physics

The Musical Plasma

Health Special Prize

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

Israel

Nitay Aspis

18

Biology

The Influence Of Galectin-8 On The Skeletal System

Slovak Republic

Ferenc Jaroslav

17

Biology

The Examination Of Circadian Regulation Of Response On A Herbicide Glyphosate In Common Chickweed (stellaria Media)

Vision-Box Special Prize

Country

Contestants

Age

Scientific Field

Project Title

Germany

Andreas Lang

20

Computing

Face Detection Using Swarm Intelligence


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