Young Scientists Contest


The 17th European Union Contest for Young Scientists

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GERMANY: Chemistry BELARUS: Physics BELGIUM: Physics
Stephen Schultz - Germany Ann Mukhortava and Alena Abramava - Belarus David Eskenazi, Nicolas Innocenti and Antoine Paulus - Belgium
Lab on a chip - an advance in pharmaceutical research and production

This project could enable some pharmaceuticals to be researched and produced more simply, and without using dangerous compounds as catalysts. Using miniaturisation and a method called anodic polarisation, organomagnesium and organolithium compounds can be synthesised more easily and in greater quantities. This has made it possible for the first time to deposit magnesium by electrolysis using inorganic salts.
Participants: Stephen Schultz
Studying tsunamis in shallow water

A tsunami wave is an example of a soliton - a nonlinear solitary wave with a steady structure. In the past there has been no experimental research on the shape of the solitary wave front, but this project proposes a new procedure that will allow such research in a variety of hydrodynamic experiments.
Participants: Ann Mukhortava and Alena Abramava
A home-made Tesla coil

The Tesla coil, invented by Nikola Tesla in 1890, generates an impressive electrical discharge. Science museums around the world exhibit them, but this team decided to build one themselves. With some help from textbooks and the Internet and a great deal of trial and error, they found their own solution for each element, then tested the theory against their own observations.
Participants: David Eskenazi, Nicolas Innocenti and Antoine Paulus


DENMARK: Biology

HUNGARY: Computing
Zdenek Janovsky - Czech Republic

Helle Roager Jensen - Denmark

Akos Kapui - Hungary
Using small forest ponds to maintain biodiversity

When cultivation forces out certain varieties of plantlife, they can sometimes find a refuge beside ponds in small forests. This project combined historical and botanical approaches, reconstructing the development of vegetation and looking at eutrophication. As a result, Zdenek identified some steps for maintaining biodiversity, and conservation groups have already shown an interest.
Participants: Zdenek Janovsky
Genetically modified organisms (GMO)

The purpose of this project is to give people a clear understanding of the implications of GMO technology. Helle gives a practical and theoretical explanation of the subject, describing how GMO can be created and backing it up with accounts of experiments with GM crops to illustrate how they could be used to solve practical problems in the production of food and medicine.
Participants: Helle Roager Jensen
Tracing burglars and monitoring your home - by remote control

There are a lot of machines in homes and other buildings that can break down. This project developed three systems for controlling these machines, relaying warnings to their owners and even tracing burglars. The Computational Supervisory System monitors sensors in a house, and sends an SMS when an error occurs. There are also Mobile and Telephone Supervisory Systems.
Participants: Akos Kapui

Social Science

IRELAND: Computing

ISRAEL: Medicine
Una Guolaug Sveinsdottir, Lily Erla Adamsdottir and Valdis Osp Jonsdottir - Iceland Patrick Collison - Ireland Ronit Shapira - Israel
Cuddle-me clothes - a massage bodysuit for children

Massaging children has been shown to strengthen the bond between parent and child, help with physical problems such as stomach aches, and make the child calmer. Parents are more likely to massage their children if they are reminded to do it, and shown how. This team designed a bodysuit for infants to do just that.
Participants: Una Guolaug Sveinsdottir, Lily Erla Adamsdottir and Valdis Osp Jonsdottir
Croma: a new web programming language

Writing sophisticated programmes that run on the web is notoriously difficult and complex. Croma is a new programming language, based on Lisp, designed to make web programming easier. It uses an integrated web-server, and its programmes are much shorter than ones written in other languages, making them cheaper to develop.
Participants: Patrick Collison
Can fish oils help control Parkinson's disease?

Parkinson's disease is a disorder of movement, caused by a loss of neurons containing a neurotransmitter called dopamine. This study investigates the influence of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid most often found in fish oil. The results suggest that a diet with enough DHA can help to prevent damage to the dopamine-producing system.
Participants: Ronit Shapira

LATVIA: Engineering


SPAIN: Biology
Kristaps Dambis - Latvia Rugile Stanyte - Lithuania

Javier Lopez Martinez Fortun, Carlos Machado Carvajal and Eliecer Perez Robaina - Spain
Building and using a small-scale aerodynamic wind tunnel

The odd wings and plates that festoon Formula 1 cars all have an aerodynamic function, but it is almost impossible to see what it is - never mind design them - without a wind tunnel. Kristaps has developed and built a small wind tunnel that allows flow patterns and aerodynamic forces to be accurately analysed.
Participants: Kristaps Dambis
How cranberries adapt

The aim of the project was to investigate the physiological and morphological changes that happened as American cranberries adapted to the acidity of different substrates - both in a test tube and outside. The investigation was carried out with three cultivated varieties of cranberry: Bergman', Black Weil' and Bain 10'. The first two are more adaptive to acidity than the last.
Participants: Rugile Stanyte
Sonchus leptacaulis: a new species in Gran Canaria

The purpose of this research was to find out whether some plants discovered in 1998 belonged to a new category that had not yet been described. It also investigated whether similar specimens were to be found in other places around the Canary Islands.
Participants: Javier Lopez Martinez Fortun, Carlos Machado Carvajal and Eliecer Perez Robaina