The University of Groningen sent five secondary school pupils to the International Conference of Young Scientists in Turkey. They presented their profile assignments and won one gold and two silvers.
The pupils won
first, second and third
prize in the Jan Kommandeur Prize, the University of Groningen prize for the best profile assignment. This won them places at the conference in Izmir from 18 to 25 April, where they presented their assignments and took part in a poster competition.
Aron van Harten (Vathorst College, Amersfoort), who won the Jan Kommandeur Prize, also won gold in Izmir. He came first in the Computer Science category. His research was on shuffling cards. He used different combinations of four
(riffle shuffle, overhand shuffle, pile shuffle and box) plus the cut, and studied a total of 350 combinations. The most effective proved to be ‘Cut, Riffle, Riffle, Riffle’. A surprising result was that the combination that is used in the World Series of Poker (
, Riffle, Box, Riffle) only came 112th in his list.
Christiaan van den Berg and Thom Nijboer (Maartenscollege, Haren), who won second prize in the Jan Kommandeur Prize, also came second in Turkey, winning silver in the Biology category. They researched whether the muscle mass of recipients of a donor liver influences their chance of survival. Thorough statistical analysis showed that a greater muscle mass increased the chance by 20 percent.
Fabio Kerstens and Koen de Vos (Norbertuscollege Roosendaal) won silver in the Computer Science category. They studied the re-entry of space shuttles in the atmosphere. They used computer simulations and tested scale models in a wind tunnel in their research. Fabio and Koen also won the prize for the best poster in this category.
It wasn’t all work: there was time for some sightseeing too. The participants visited the old town of Izmir and the ruins of the historic port and trading city of
. There was also time for a boat trip around Izmir Bay, a visit to an olive oil museum and an excursion to the house where the Virgin Mary spent her last days. The conference ended with a gala dinner.
Report: Helena Vis
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