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EUCYS2011 Report Summary

Project ID: 284621
Funded under: FP7-SIS
Country: Finland

Final Report Summary - EUCYS2011 (European Union Contest for Young Scientists 2011)

Executive Summary:
The European Union (EU) Contest for Young Scientists, an initiative of the European Commission, was set up in 1989 to promote the ideals of cooperation and interchange between young scientists. The Contest is the annual showcase of the best of European student scientific achievement and as such attracts widespread media interest. The 23rd EU Contest for Young Scientists took place 23rd- 28th September 2011 in Helsinki, Finland, hosted by the Finnish Association of Graduate Engineers TEK (TEK).

EUCYS 2011 involved 38 participating countries with 134 contestants (female 40/ male 94) and 87 projects in 9 fields (biology, chemistry, computing, engineering, environment, mathematics, medicine, physics, social sciences). Electronic and web-based media - such as live webcasts and TV channels - were utilized for promoting the event and maximising the impact
among the target groups. Most of the material produced is made available on the website of the project.
Project Context and Objectives:
Supporting activities to promote young people’s interest in science is one of the priorities of the Science and Society Programme.
The Young Scientists Contest has become one of the main vehicles for advancing this target. The 1st EU Contest took place in Brussels in 1989. Since then, the event has been hosted in 20 other European cities. 2011 was the 2nd time Helsinki hosted the event.

The Contest has proven to be a spring-board for future carieers in science for the contestants, several examples of success stories from previous contests are gathered in the booklet “Science our Future - 15 years of the EU Contest for Young Scientists (1989-2003)”.

The 2011 project was coordinated by the TEK in close collaboration with its associated scientific organisations, most notably Helsinki University, Aalto University and Heureka Science Centre. A coordination team of representatives of the participating organisations was set up in autumn 2010, meeting regularly to ensure the good progress of all tasks of the contract.
Within the host organisation, a management team has been created in May 2010. A full time temporary project coordinator joined the team in beginning of year 2011 for a period of 10 months
Project Results:
The EU Contest gives students the opportunity to compete with the best of their contemporaries at European level. The young scientists also have the chance to meet others with similar abilities and interests and to be guided by some of the most prominent scientists in Europe. In this way, the Commission seeks to strengthen the efforts made in each participating country to attract young people to careers in science and technology. The EU Contest for Young Scientists is part of the Science and Society activities managed by the Directorate-General for Research of the European Commission. Media coverage and visibility is one of the vehicles for achieving the objectives of the project.

The programme for the event was constructed to advance the targets of the activity.

Friday 23.9.2011
All participants
8–17 Arrivals, transfer to hotels, setting up stands
14–15 Lunch
16–17 Arrivals, transfer to hotels, setting up stands
17–18 Sightseeing
19–21 Welcome reception and dinner
21–22 Transfer to hotels

Saturday 24.9.2011
Contestants NO Jury
8–9 To venue
9–10 Setting up stands
10–12 Opening seremony
12–13 Lunch
13–16 1st jury interv.
16–17 Transfer by bus to
17–18 Aalto University, Otaniemi
17.15-18.15 Main Hall: EPO lecture, Aalto presentation
18.20 Dinner
19–21 19.00 Walk to Design Factory: Team tasks and other activities
21–22 Transfer to hotels

Sunday 25.9.2011
Contestants NO Jury
8–9 To venue
9–12 2nd jury interv.
12–13 Lunch
13–16 3rd jury interv.
16–17 Transfer by bus to
Heureka Science Center
17.00 Auditorium: Heureka presentation, EIRO 1 lecture
18–19 Good fire -show
18.20 Dinner
19–21 19.00 Labs, expositions, etc.
21–22 Transfer to hotels

Monday 26.9.2011
Contestants NO Jury
8–9 To venue
9–12 4th jury interv.
10–11 Meeting
12–13 Lunch
13–16 5th jury interv.
15–16 External visitors
16–17 Transfer by bus to
Helsinki University, Kumpula
17.00 Auditorium: Demo show, EIRO 2 lecture
18–19 LUMA and HU presentation
18.20 Dinner
19–21 19.00 Amazing race of science

21–22 Transfer to hotels

Tuesday 27.9.2011
Contestants NO Jury
10–11 To Helsinki University, City Center
11–12 Lunch
12–13 Helsinki University, award ceremony
Transfer by bus to venue
15–17 Visit to the stands, external visitors
17–18 Dismantling stands
18–19 Transfer to hotels
19–21 Transfer to Museum of Technology
20–22 Farewell party
23–00 Transfer to hotels

Wednesday 28.9.2011
All participants
8–21 Departures

Parallel programme was organised for Escorts, National Organisers and Visitors

Saturday 24.9.
Session 1: 13.30-16 at Museum of Technology
How museum can support and promote science and technology teaching and learning (Cases: InnoApaja and Teknoreitti)
Session 2: 19.55-21.20 at Design Factory, Otaniemi
Gender and equality issues in science and technology (20-20.45)
Venture Garage – new way student activism and learning (20.50-21.20)

Sunday 25.9.
Session 1: 9-12 at Suvilahti: Sirkus Cirko
Fun physics with toys: teachers as teaching methods developers (9.00-10.30)
WWW-based materials: bridging formal and informal learning (10.40-12.00)

Session 2: 13.45-16.30 at Heureka
Non-profit science education actors in schools: science clubs as support for science learning and teaching (Case: Kerhokeskus/Centre for School Clubs) (13.45-14.35)
Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary projects or pure natural science projects? (14.45-15.35)

Heureka Learning Center (Case: Liikkeelle! - On the move!) (15.45-16.30)

Monday 26.9.
Monday programme will be joint programme with Science in Society (SiS) network and Forum 2011. The Forum 2011 provides an opportunity for key players and stakeholders from both the public and private sectors to engage in an open dialogue and discuss different aspects of Science for Society and Responsible Research and Innovation Actions in the European Union.
Session 1: 13-16 at Suvilahti)
SiS participants and NOs/accompanying adults getting together and panel discussion on Science education (13.00-15.00)

Visit to stands (15.00-16.00)

Session 2: 18.20-19.30 at Helsinki University, Kumpula Campus
Support for science and technology education: cooperation between actors (18.20-19.30)

Potential Impact:
For the 23rd European Union Contest for Young Scientists in 2011, special efforts were made to

• Develop and/or enhance a strong interest for natural and social sciences among young students Europe-wide.
• Stimulate innovative projects realised by young European students.
• Encouraging young people to pursue their interest in science and embrace scientific careers.
• Promote the ideals of cooperation and exchange of ideas between some of the most promising young European scientists.
• Maximise visibility in media favoured by the target group.
• Through visits to scientific institutions as well as scientific prizes consisting of apprenticeships in some of the leading scientific installations in Finland and in Europe, foster the interest of young scientists for research in the leading European groups and institutes.
• Raise awareness and boost the audience of the Finnish national contest.

Interviews of the participants were distributed by scientific radio channels of Finland´s nationwide broadcasting company YLE, morning TV of MTV3 - one of the prime nationwide TV channels in Finland, and Channel 2 of YLE TV.

Visits to the EUCYS contest exhibition were organized for school classes and groups of students.

The contest book was distributed among scientific journalists in Finland and Europe.

In July, all project abstracts were made available under the EUCYS2011 website ( and could be downloaded by scientific journalists and the main news agencies.

An overall evaluation of the EUCYS 2011 project was made by an independent consultant Mr. Marko Stermšek, Technopolis, United Kingdom, commissioned by the EU. In his report Mr. Stermšek stated the following

“For EUCYS to fullfil its mission, it is very important to maximise visibility and awareness, especially in the eyes of young people. A number of relevant activities are therefore conducted each year in order to stimulate this as far as possible.

For the 2011 Contest, a follow-up report revealed that around 270 articles had been published around Europe on its theme, including quality, leading newspapers as well as an assortment of smaller online media. The opening of the Contest was also covered by Finland’s national television, further disseminating visibility and highlighting the success of the outreach programme. In order to enable these activities, the 2011 consortium began its marketing very early and maintained the activities throughout the project. It also gained very much by outsourcing of some of its funding to an external media agency in order to stimulate some of the activities in public relations that may not have been achieved otherwise. (Such procedure is considered to have been highly beneficial in 2011 and might be recommended to future hosts as good practice.)”

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