Physics experiments right after the end of school year? Northern lights in a middle of summer heat? For the finalists of Arctic Competition 2017, this is the idea of a perfect start of summer holidays. 5 teams from Poland have proven that they’re really into science. Maria, Wiktoria, Beata, Mateusz, Michał: 3 girls and 2 boys from Poland were among the best European teams that had proposed research and innovation projects related to the Arctic.
As you know, it was extremely difficult to choose 6 winning teams out of the best 12 applications. 6 winners are going to visit Iceland and Faroe Islands in August.
We really wanted to reward all wonderful finalists. As 5 out of 6 "almost winners" were Polish, we were able to invite them to the Institute of Geophysics Polish Academy of Sciences, show them observatories near Warsaw, Poland and give them opportunity to ... do some field work, as well.
Unfortunately we couldn't host our sixth, Greek team, tutored by one of our most engaged teachers, Nikolaos Nerantzis, but we hope they will enjoy little gifts we prepared for them.
Our guests visited the Institute, during the lectures they had an opportunity to learn a lot about Polish Hornsund Polar Station, find out whether UV radiation is always dangerous, and also - what is hidden inside the glaciers. At Observatories, they explored the secrets of the magnetic field of the Earth and solar energy, got acquainted with equipment and did some measurements by themselves. They had the opportunity to feel like real-life investigators - they made a morphological profile of the valley and measured currents in the river. They even managed to find their own mini-aurora in a bulb! Each of the young - future scientists is individual is a real inspiration. The youngest participants - 13-year-old Wiktoria and Beata - want to take make polar researchers’ lives easier - that is why their projects concerned vegetable cultivation using LED lighting, and fun and clever ways to facilitate everyday life of the station.
Maria is already a true traveler - she has followed the footsteps of famous Shackleton expedition and she’s going to visit Hornsund this year, and her project concerned changes in weather conditions in the north, due to the disappearance of sea ice.
What is really exciting is that the adventure with science does not end with the competition - Mateusz still wants to make measurements of the glacier with geodetic methods, and Michał was so inspired by EDU-ARCTIC project that he’s already planning his future University studies, preferably connected with his project’s topic: aeroponic cultivation.
It was a great pleasure to meet you all!