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EUCYS 2014 Report Summary

Project ID: 633125
Funded under: H2020-EU.5.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EUCYS 2014 (European Union Contest for Young Scientists 2014)

Reporting period: 2014-03-01 to 2015-02-28

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Description of the achieved goals and results of the Project

The International Finals of the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS 2014) united many institutions, organizations and people, representing different backgrounds, including: educational, scientific and business, of local, Polish nationwide, and international reach. The contest, with its main arena at the University of Warsaw Library, gathered 200 direct participants, including finalists, National Organizers and national teams’ supervisors, as well as hundreds of people visiting the contest zone and taking part in the accompanying events. Except from five obligatory sessions of interviews with the judges, within EUCYS 2014 there were events of scientific, but also integrative and cultural nature, addressed to direct participants of the project, guests, and participants of the partnering events. On the initiative of the Organizing Committee, the City Hall of the Capital City of Warsaw decorated the neighbourhood of the Main Campus of the University of Warsaw, Piłsudski Sq., Karowa and Dobra St. with flags of Warsaw and of the European Union.

The aim of the Contest was to make it possible for young scientists from European countries (also not belonging to the European Union) and some countries from outside Europe (Canada, China, New Zealand, South Korea, the Unites States) to present their research achievements not only in front of an international jury, but also their peers, representatives of numerous European institutions and a wide audience. 84 contest stands, where the finalists presented their works (in 10 science disciplines) were placed in the catalogue hall of the University of Warsaw Library, which for nearly a week during EUCYS 2014 was out of its usual use; this had no precedent in the 15 years of the building’s history and clearly shows the importance of the Contest and its meaning for developing the intellectual potential of Poland. Other Library rooms were used among others as the jury room, lecture hall, meeting room for the National Organizers, press office, European Commission representatives’ office. In the passage between the entrances, a zone was prepared where all the co-organizers and EUCYS 2014 partners had their stands. The University of Warsaw Library building was decorated on the inside and outside with banners, flags and other elements of visual identification.

Except from scientific rivalry, an equally important goal of the Contest is to encourage young people to pursue their interests and to begin a career in science. Therefore representatives of European science institutions, i.e. EPO – European Patent Office, CERN – European Organization for Nuclear Research, EFDA JET – European Fusion Development Agreement, EMBL – European Molecular Biology Laboratory, cooperate permanently with EUCYS. Organizers of Intel ISEF, the biggest pre-college research projects fair that takes place every year in the USA, are regular guests at EUCYS. Study visits, research internships at the mentioned institutions and three accreditations to participate in Intel ISEF are special prizes at EUCYS.

Related event, organized in full cooperation with EUCYS was 2014 STEM Educator Academy; a conference organized by Intel and European SchoolNet. The conference gathered nearly 200 representatives of ministries, public institutions, NGOs and foundations, working in the field of education in the countries of Central Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Educator Academy is a cyclic conference (organized each year in the USA by the Intel ISEF and every second year in Europe, during EUCYS), serving the exchange of experience in terms of pupils’ stimulation programs, supporting highly talented pupils and promoting scientific interests. In 2014, in Warsaw an additional topic was the recapitulation of the Ingenious project – European Coordinating Body in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education, carried out as part of the 7th Framework Program of the European Union, also serving to promote the interest in science, in order to counteract the possible lack of scientific competences in the EU societies.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

EUCYS 2014 - Activities carried out within the scope of the Project

Organization and running of the EUCYS 2014 Organizational Secretariat
Rooms in Harenda Hotel (2/4 Krakowskie Przedmieście St), in the direct vicinity of the Main Campus of the University of Warsaw were rented for the needs of the project. The Organizational Secretariat employed at different times from 2-4 people.

Developing the program of the International Finals of the 26th Contest for Young Scientists held on 19th-24th September 2014.
EUCYS 2014 program was developed by the Organizing Committee, based on the European Commission’s guidelines included in the Guidelines on the Organization of the European Union Contests for Young Scientists document, in cooperation with the EC representatives and local organizational partners. While preparing the program and choosing the location of each event, the Committee was guided by its concern to ensure the best possible conditions of conducting the Contest: the presentation of scientific projects, the work of the Jury and other people involved in the event, providing a variety of accompanying events which focused on the popularization of science, the integration of participants and cultural events.

Appointing the Organizing, Steering and Honorary Committee which include the representatives of the EUCYS 2014 organizers and partners, as well as the representatives of the government and science and education related institutions.

Selection of hotels providing accommodation services for the EUCYS 2014 participants; as a result of a tender procedure, the following hotels were selected: Sofitel Victoria (finalists, National Organizers, journalists) and Bristol (jury members, special guests).

Production of informational and promotional materials
The following materials were printed and produced (all texts in English) for the purposes of the EUCYS 2014 participants, media and guests of the event.
The choice of projects’ executors and production orders was made based on the knowledge of the market and a series of letters of inquiry and offer:
1. web page design
2. Graphic design of the contest zone at the Warsaw University Library
3. Posters and information leaflets, accompanying the volunteer recruitment
4. EUCYS 2014 informational posters
5. Advertising boards displayed on public space media and Koleje Mazowieckie trains
6. Invitations for the Opening Ceremony, Awards Ceremony, Farewell Dinner and Party
7. Programs of the Welcome event in Czersk and the Awards Ceremony
8. EUCYS 2014 catalogues
9. Information leaflet on the activity of the National Children’s Fund
10. Pocket guides
11. University of Warsaw magazine: special issue ”Welcome 2 UW” (material preparation, typesetting and printing – University of Warsaw Press Office)
12. IDs for the participants, organizers and guests
13. T-shirts for participants and organizers (including volunteers)
Souvenirs fort the participants and organizers (including: backpacks, notebooks, umbrellas, luggage tags, pens, headphones, digital sport cameras, stress balls, wooden logical toys, power banks).

Production of video materials
For the purposes of the event’s promotion, as well as to be used by the EUCYS 2014 co-organizers and partners, the following video materials were prepared. The contractor was chosen based on a tender procedure or on letters of inquiry and offer, considering the price, but also the experience in the production of similar materials and the recommendations of the event’s co-organizers.
Films and clips produced based on own materials of co-organizers and shots taken specifically for the EUCYS purposes:
1. EUCYS 2014 promotional clip
2. Materials on three Polish finalists of EUCYS 2014 (3 videoclips)
3. Information clips on EUCYS and the activity of the Contest’s co-organizers: the European Commission, University of Warsaw, the National Children’s Fund, the Copernicus Science Centre
4. Clips documenting particular events, programs, available among others on the EUCYS 2014 website
5. TV broadcast; a report from the event, broadcast on TVP Polonia

Flight tickets were ordered and purchased for EUCYS 2014 participants, NOs, escort, the Jury members, journalist etc.

Arrangement of transportation services for the EUCYS 2014 participants for 7 days.

Media monitoring. Content of the following media was browsed: TV, radio, Internet, printed press, social media.

The Opening Ceremony: preparation of the artistic program, script development.
The Opening Ceremony took place on Saturday, the 20th of September in the Bogusławski Hall at the National Theatre in Warsaw. The ceremony was of an artistic performance’s nature (featuring dancers, a music band, vocalists and performers), it contained elements that presented Poland and Warsaw, all of the organizers (the European Commission, University of Warsaw, the Polish Children’s Fund and the Copernicus Science Centre), as well as the national groups of contestants.

The Awards Ceremony: preparation of the artistic program, script development.
The Awards Ceremony took place on Tuesday, the 23rd of September in Auditorium Maximum of the University of Warsaw. Warszawianka Folk Song and Dance Ensemble of the University of Warsaw was entrusted with the comprehensive execution of the ceremony. Dance shows of the Warszawianka ensemble, accompanied by the symphony orchestra, as well as recitals performed by the tutees of the Polish Children’s Fund constituted the artistic setting of the ceremony. Among the guests were:
• Ms. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn – European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science,
• President Lech Wałęsa,
• Prof. Lena Kolarska-Bobińska – Minister of Science and Higher Education,
• Prof. Wodzisław Duch – Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Science and Higher Education,
• Prof. Michał Kleiber – President of the Polish Academy of Sciences,
• Prof. Maciej Żylicz – President of the Board of the Foundation for Polish Science,
• Prof. Marcin Pałys – Rector of the University of Warsaw,
• Dr. Henrik Aronsson – President of the EUCYS 2014 Jury,
• Mr. Sang Woo Kim – President of Samsung Electronics, Brussels,
• Mr. Bogdan Benczak – President of PZU Foundation,
• Nineta Majcen – General Secretary of the European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences,
• Dieter Tzschoppe – Director of the European Patent Office,
• Renata Witsch – Director General of the EIROforum,
• Michał Dżoga – Intel Head of Corporate Affairs, Central and Eastern Europe
and other representatives of the world of science, politics and business.

Running of the International Finals of the 26th European Union Contest for Young Scientists. The main contest zone was the catalogue hall of the University of Warsaw Library in Warsaw (Dobra St). 84 stands for the EUCYS 2014 finalists, corresponding with the number of submitted scientific projects, were placed according to the European Commission’s guidelines. The foyer space was arranged into a public zone, with stands and presentations of the EUCYS 2014 co-organizers and partners: the European Commission, European Commission’s Science: It’s a girl thing! program, European Commission’s Knowledge Incubation and Creation for Science program, University of Warsaw, the Polish Children’s Fund, the Copernicus Science Centre, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, PZU Foundation, Samsung.
Other rooms of the library were used among others as the jury room, lecture hall, meeting room for the National Organizers, press office, European Commission representatives’ office.

Informational and promotional activities after the ending of EUCYS 2014
After the ending of EUCYS finals, the following promotional activities were undertaken with the objective of preserving the information about the contest events, promoting the laureates and Polish participants of the contest, as well as the organizers and partners.
1. Broadcast of a TV report on TVP Polonia (premiere on 20th October, at 23:45, repeated on: 21st October, at 05:40 and 18:25).
2. Promotional campaign of the next Polish Edition of the European Union Contest for Young Scientists, organized by the Polish Children’s Fund.

Preparation of the final report from the International Finals of the 26th European Union Contest for Young Scientists.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Project’s biggest achievements:
1. Creating conditions for the Contest’s finalists, volunteers and audience to get to know each other, exchange scientific and life experience. The organizers wanted the finalists and other groups of participants of EUCYS 2014 to have the opportunity to integrate in a less formal and scientific atmosphere, favouring becoming acquainted with the history and everyday customs of Poland - for those purposes were arranged: the welcoming and integrative evening in the ruins of the Castle in Czersk (September, 19th), special evening at the Copernicus Science Centre (September, 21st) and Farewell Dinner and Party at the Business Club of the National Stadium (September, 23rd).

119 of EUCYS 2014 finalists (44 girls and 75 boys) presented 84 research projects, prepared individually or in teams of 2-3. The works were divided into 10 scientific disciplines: biology (10 projects), chemistry (5), computing (8), engineering (13), environment (7), materials (1), mathematics (12), medicine (5), physics 16), social sciences (7). All of the projects were created before their authors finished their education on the secondary school level. According to the EUCYS rules, during the contest the authors cannot have completed more than one year of studies.

National Organizers or/and escorts help the finalists to prepare for the presentation in front of the international jury. During the International Finals of the Contest, experiences concerning the organization of local contests and international finals are exchanged; educational systems and the functioning of programs supporting the highly talented youth are also compared. The National Organizers, being (depending on the country) the representatives of ministries of education, institutions of higher education, NGOs and the representatives of the European Commission (i.e. Directorate-General for Research, Innovation and Science) participate in the discussions.

The contest zone was visited by President Lech Wałęsa, the 1983 Peace Nobel Prize laureate. The former president of the Republic of Poland became acquainted with some finalist projects, he was also the guest of honour at the EUCYS 2014 Awards Ceremony that took place on the 23rd of September in Auditorium Maximum of the University of Warsaw. The visit of the illustrious guest was of great interest of the youth and for the participants from outside of Poland, a great reason to get to know the recent Polish history better.

2. Promoting the out-of-school competence development and interests in all kinds of science among the youth, as well as creating a positive and valued image of a scientist.

It is a EUCYS tradition that the Contest’s participants should have the possibility to meet and talk to renowned authorities of the world of science, including Nobel laureates. An invitation to visit the Finals in Warsaw was accepted by Prof. Robert Huber, a chemist from the Max Planck Institute in Munich, who received the Nobel Prize in 1988 for determination of the three-dimensional structure of a photosynthetic reaction centre in bacteria (together with Johann Deisenhofer and Hartmut Michel). Prof. Huber was also guest at the ceremony of presenting diplomas to the laureates of the Mistrz contest for professorial subsidies, organized by the Foundation for Polish Science. The gala (at which Prof. Huber gave his lecture addressed to the young scientists) was one of the events accompanying EUCYS 2014, open for the wide audience. The ceremony organized on the 22nd September in Auditorium Maximum of the University of Warsaw gathered 500 people, including representatives of Polish science and a numerous group of lower-secondary and secondary schools’ pupils.

EUCYS 2014 finals demonstrated and made clear that time and energy contributed to developing interests brings a lot of satisfaction, recognition and occasionally measurable success. The achievements of young scientists were an example for the audience of realizing a well-oriented and developed passion, a proof that developing scientific interests is an attractive life choice accompanied by the prospect of professional success, as well as acknowledgment among the peers and a wider circle of people. EUCYS has therefore an effect of a flywheel on education and career of thousands of pupils every year, it is also an inspiration and motivation to take up the difficulties of scientific work for following year groups of talented young people.

EUCYS finals let establish relationships and initiate cooperation with other pupils or/and research members. The experience of the past EUCYS laureates show that the relationships established during the finals last for years, lead to long-term scientific and professional cooperation

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