Via the University of Groningen’s Science Support Desk, secondary school students presented their research at the ‘International Conference of Young Scientists’ (ICYS), held in Nijmegen on 16-23 April. They managed to win the silver medal awarded at the conference, in a world championship for profile assignments in which students from 21 countries participated. This year teams from China, Malaysia and South Korea participated for the first time ever.
The young researchers were given 15 minutes at the conference to present their research in English. The students were then questioned by a jury of scientists from various countries and performed admirably.
Rolf van der Gaast and Nesha Narain, students at the Thorbecke Scholengemeenschap in Zwolle, won a silver medal in the category ‘Applied Physics’ with their research into plastic solar cells. They analysed ways to increase their yield by making organic solar cells with different side chains to the fullerene acceptor (buckyball molecule). This opens the door to new possibilities for producing solar cells cheaply.
The students’ research was conducted as part of their profile assignment – a written assignment on a subject chosen by final-year (HAVO, VWO) students themselves – for which they conducted their own experiments. The students’ reports were judged by an expert jury of University of Groningen scientists. Rolf and Nesha won the Jan Kommandeur Prize 2012 with their profile assignment, and thus also became eligible to participate in ICYS 2012.
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