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The Warsaw Voice » Other » July 1, 2009
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Passion for Science
July 1, 2009   
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Polish secondary school students stole the show at the 16th International Conference of Young Scientists (ICYS) held in the southern town of Pszczyna April 24-29.

The International Conference of Young Scientists is an annual competition for young enthusiasts of physics, mathematics, computer science and ecology. It aims to contribute to the promotion and development of sciences, scientific experiments and research findings. Another objective is to inspire young people to develop their scientific interests.

This year, the Polish team, made up of 12 students, won two gold medals and a special award from the European Physical Society. The Poles also won two silver medals in physics, a bronze medal in environmental physics, and an honorable mention from an international panel of judges chaired by Prof. Władysław Borgieł from the Institute of Physics University of Silesia in southern Poland.

"The ICYS competition enables students to gain access to science and offers an opportunity to equalize educational disparities among regions," said Urszula WoĽnikowska-Bezak, the Polish team's tutor. "The participants are secondary school students, but their knowledge meets university standards."

Each competitor had to present a research report in English with the use of multimedia on a subject they had chosen from a range of scientific disciplines, including mathematics, physics, computer science and ecology.

Top guns
Rafał Dudek of High School no. 2 in Dębica won a gold medal with a special commendation of the European Physical Society for his report entitled The Behavior of a Drop of Water on a Superhydrophobic Surface. He had prepared the report together with Jakub Królikowski of High School no. 4 in Sosnowiec.

"In my work, I studied the behavior of a drop of water on the surface of soot," said Dudek. "I registered its bouncing by means of a high-speed camera delivering 2,000 frames per second. I came up with a physical explanation of the phenomenon and its mathematical model. This made a great impression on the judges and audience. I won a gold medal with a special commendation and an award in the form of a laptop and DVD recorder funded by the European Physical Society."

Another gold medal, also in physics, went to Aleksandra Pławecka and Wojciech Jańczak from a high school in Pszczyna for their report entitled Pinhole Photography.

Silver medals in physics went to Jakub Polewka of High School no. 1 in Chorzów for his report entitled Backscatter in Photography; and to Aleksandra Ksi±żek and Franciszek Wołoch of High School no. 2 in Dębica for Percolation in a Photovoltaic Cell.

A bronze medal in environmental physics went to Ilona Grzyb from High School no. 1 in Bolesławiec for Noise Pollution.

Marta Szczukiecka and Kinga Lipińska of High School no. 1 in Wieluń won an honorable mention for their report entitled Zero-Emission Coal Technology: Carbon Dioxide Capture, Storage, Processing and Application.

The competition attracted students from 17 countries, including teams from Indonesia, Georgia, the United States and Brazil. The Indonesian ambassador was a special guest of the event. Next year's competition will be held on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Piotr Bartosz
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