Awards Announced at Science on Stage 2
The EIROforum Science on Stage 2 (SOS2) Festival, one of the most important events in the education calendar, reached its climax on 6 April with the presentation of the European Science Teaching Awards.
12 of these prestigious awards are given for the best educational science projects presented at the conference. Four of these are cash awards, ranging from 1000 euros to 4000 euros, with a further eight awards provided by each member organisation of the EIROforum and the European Physical Society (EPS). With the exception of a cash prize presented by the EPS, these take the form of books, magazine subscriptions or a visit to a particular research area.
In almost every case, there were no restrictions on the scientific discipline(s) which could be addressed by the potential prize winners - physics, chemistry, (micro)biology, environmental sciences, interdisciplinary science or science teaching. The exception was the EPS prize, which was specifically targeted at a physics project.
A jury of eight experts from the fields of science education and outreach, including Nanna Kristensen, the winner of the first prize at the SOS1 festival, was given the unenviable task of examining all of the educational stands at the festival and eventually drawing up a list of winners.
“This was an extremely time-consuming and difficult job,” said Tatjana Hascher, ESA coordinator for SOS2. “The key criteria that the jurors had to bear in mind were innovation, relevance and suitability for use in schools. It was not until a final meeting on Thursday evening that the jury was able to make a final decision on the 12 award winners.”
The first prize of €4,000 was awarded to Finn Skaarup Jensen (Denmark) for a presentation entitled “Robots in real life”, which comprised two do-it-yourself kits developed for hands-on teaching. The first of these, called “the Spider”, is a mechanical robot that blinks with its “eyes” when it is moved or exposed to vibration and is very suitable for illustrating mechanical and electrical topics. The other kit is a mechanical and hydraulic robot which is able to move its legs and arms independently. The mechanical parts are made of wood, and the hydraulic parts are based on water hydraulics. These kits offer a cheap, safe and amusing way to illustrate how robots work.
In second place was Mario Mitov (Bulgaria) for his “Demonstration model of an eco-energy system”. This comprised a modular lab stand which demonstrates the operating principles of various eco-friendly energy production systems. This includes a small wind turbine or a solar panel which generates the electricity needed to supply a water electrolyser. The hydrogen and oxygen produced are then fed to a simple fuel cell.
Third was Ida Regl (Austria) for “Sunny side up”, a school-and community-based project in which young people will learn about the Sun. Fourth was Zoltan Köllö (Hungary) for “You CAN do it!”, a series of experiments that can be carried out with readily available household items.
The ESA prize was awarded to a French team, Vincent Devaux, Jean-Paul Chamozzi and Michel Merlange, for “Bubble machines”, in which students study machines that move underwater using only the gas produced by effervescent tablets.
The other award winners were:
The Science on Stage 2 festival was held at the Europole Congress Centre in Grenoble, France. The international festival brought together some 500 educators from 28 European countries.
This year’s event was hosted by the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL) and the Grenoble Outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), three of the EIROforum partners. The festival was also supported in part by the European Commission’s Science and Society Programme within the framework of the NUCLEUS project and the ESTI programme.
The other EIROforum partners are the European Space Agency (ESA); the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN); the European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA); and the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
For more information please see: Science on Stage 2 festival website
Picuters of the award winners are published here: