On Thursday 16th June 2022, the Faculty of Chemical Technology of the University of Pardubice welcomed the best young researchers in the field of chemistry from all over the Czech Republic. The jubilee 10th year of the national finals of the competition “Search for the best young chemist of CR” has the student champion in chemistry for the year. The competition is primarily intended for students in grade 8 and 9 of elementary schools. The main aim of the competition is promotion and popularization of chemistry.
The regional rounds of the “Young Chemist” competition were held from September last year in 11 organizing centres – chemical or technical secondary vocational schools. In total, the competition involved in more than 17,000 students from 614 elementary schools! The top forty advanced to the national finals.
“The jubilee tenth year of the national finals is held in the place where the competition started fifteen years ago and where chemistry has more than a century of tradition. We are happy that after the two pandemic years we can again meet in person and organize the finals as a highly prestigious social event which is a strong motivating experience for all competitors,” said Prof. Petr Kalenda, Dean of the hosting organization – Faculty of Chemical Technology, University of Pardubice. “We are extremely interested in talented young chemists and the finalists often return to us after graduating from secondary school to complete their study. It is symbolic that one of this year’s graduates from the Faculty of Chemical Technology is the winner and silver participant of the first year of the national finals in 2013,” added Prof. Kalenda.
At first, the young chemistry enthusiasts took a test of theoretical knowledge followed by a test of laboratory skills. The sum of points scored in both parts of the competition decided on the final ranking.
“The competition tasks are jointly developed by the faculty employees and reflect the Framework Education Programme for Elementary Education. They also include more difficult tasks because national finalists are expected to show increased interest and above-standard knowledge. All teachers were informed of the required knowledge in advance to prepare their pupils for the finals,” explained Prof. Petr Němec, Vice-Dean for Education, FChT, University of Pardubice. The young chemists not only competed but became university students for one day. They had their meals in the canteen, slept in the dorms and worked in the university’s state-of-the-art laboratories.
The day of the finals also offered an attractive accompanying programme. The highlight of the programme was the science show presented by the renowned science communicator Michael Londesborough, whose varied repertoire includes a number of highly impressive chemistry and physics experiments. The programme for the teachers included a lecture on modern printing technology presented by Doc. Tomáš Syrový. The parents had the opportunity to visit medical genetics laboratories with a practical demonstration of microscopy presented by Vice-Dean for External Relations and Promotion Mgr. Lucie Stříbrná. In the afternoon, interesting chemical experiments were shown in the foyer by the experienced demonstrator Hana Doušová.
The award ceremony took place in the campus and was attended by a number of prominent guests and sponsors. A total of 38 finalists were awarded. Awards were also presented to teachers whose students finished in the medal positions. Thanks to the organizers and partners of the national finals, all of the participants received valuable prizes. The best finalists received a laptop, tablet, smart watch or outdoor camera. The award ceremony was also attended by the first ever gold medallist of the national finals of the competition “Search for the best young chemist of CR” Ing. Marie Nevyhoštěná, who has recently graduated from FChT with a red diploma. On the occasion of the jubilee, the Dean of FChT Prof. Petr Kalenda presented the “Silver Medal of Merit of the Faculty of Chemical Technology, University of Pardubice” to Ing. Ivan Souček, Ph.D., Director of the Association of Chemical Industry of the Czech Republic.
The Dean of FChT presented the first five finalists with a promise of a scholarship for the first academic year of study at FChT, University of Pardubice worth CZK 108,000.
The winner of this prestigious competition was from ZŠ npor. Eliáše, Polabiny 3, Michal Čapek. For his success, he received a laptop and the Dean of FChT Prof. Kalenda presented him with a promise of a scholarship of CZK 36,000 for the first academic year of study at FChT in any study programme. The silver position was taken by Michaela Šubrtová from ZŠ Odry Pohořská, who was awarded by the Rector of the University of Pardubice Prof. Libor Čapek. The bronze position was taken by a student from ZŠ Cerekvice nad Loučnou Josefína Řeháková.
The Dean of FChT Prof. Kalenda also awarded the teachers of the top three students and presented them with the “Bronze Commemorative Medal of the Faculty of Chemical Technology, University of Pardubice” for encouraging their students’ interest in studying chemistry.
We would like to congratulate all of the students and their teachers and wish them a lot of enthusiasm for chemistry, joy in revealing the secrets of science as well as happiness and health in the following academic year!
Mgr. Lucie Stříbrná, Ph.D., Vice-Dean of FChT / Photo by Milan Reinberk