Estonia given right to organise biggest European science contest
During his visit to Tartu, the president, creator and founder of the European Union Science Olympiad (EUSO) Michael Cotter assured that Estonia is ready and capable to organise one of the biggest science contest for pupils of the European Union member states.
The vision of the olympiad’s founder Michael Cotter for teaching natural sciences is that it should be integrated. Integrated studies of biology, chemistry and physics helps understand how the different fields are connected and give a broader understanding of what happens in nature and society.
“The integration of natural science subjects is what Cotter wished to see in the EUSO tasks which he approved by assuring that Estonia is ready to organise the olympiad,” said EUSO Programme Manager and lecturer at UT Institute of Chemistry Karin Hellat and added: “The tasks in the olympiad will be exciting and based on real life.”
According to Hellat, the academic committee who prepares the tasks comprises of young people who have represented Estonia in EUSO previously and are today, as students of the University of Tartu, involved in preparing tasks for Estonian and international science olympiads.
“I am convinced that science olympiads encourage students to improve themselves in this field and value cooperation, which is required of members of all the teams in order to successfully solve the tasks. The ultimate aim of the olympiad is to increase students’ interest in natural sciences which in turn helps future career choices and the formation of a research based society,” said Hellat.
Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Education and Research Mart Laidmets says that organising EUSO is a great honour for Estonia and it comes with many positive aspects which pupils, teachers and society as a whole should notice and support.
“This is a chance for Estonia to introduce and demonstrate our competence through natural science education. To me this seems like a springboard for pupils and teachers to increase cooperation with European Union pupils and teachers. New contacts enable the mentors who participate in the olympiad to share teaching experience and materials of natural sciences and also share best practices which could promote reaching a new level in the integrated teaching of natural sciences,” added Laidmets.
The 14th European Union Science Olympiad takes place in Tartu and Tallinn on 7–14 May 2016. Representatives of all European Union member states are expected to participate in the olympiad.
The main organiser of EUSO is the University of Tartu and it is funded by the Ministry of Education and Research. The steering committee founded by the ministry also includes representatives of Tallinn University of Technology, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Science Centre AHHAA and Tartu city government.
During his visit to Tartu, Cotter also visited the laboratory classes in Tamme Gymnasium where science subjects have been successfully integrated…
... and with Science Centre AHHAA and the set of the television show “Rakett 69” in AHAAA centre.
For more information about EUSO visit the website http://euso2016.ee/.
Additional information: Katrin Hellat, Programme Manager of European Union Science Olympiad, lecturer of UT Institute of Chemistry, tel. 5090991, e-mail: karin.hellat [ät] ut.ee.