In a few days it will be that time again: From March 19 to 22, participants in Bavaria’s Young Scientists competition will present their research at the Deutsches Museum’s transport center. In the process, a total of 79 young scientists from Bavaria aged between 15 and 21 will compete for the chance to proceed to the nationallevel round. This year, 12,069 aspiring scientists from across Germany have registered to take part in the competition and the junior segment “Schüler experimentieren”. With 1,991 entries, Bavaria has for the eighth consecutive time produced the highest number of projects for Europe’s largest competition for young scientists. WACKER is hosting the Bavarian competition for the eleventh time.
At the Deutsches Museum’s transport center the young scientists will present a total of 59 research projects, divided into seven subject areas. Topics range from an ergonomic pinboard and intelligent pillboxes to projects in physics, biotechnology and environmental protection.
For three days the expert judges from science and industry will thoroughly examine the participants’ projects: “When talking to the students, the judges want to find out where the smartest ideas and most innovative approaches have come from. They are interested in instances where problems have had to be overcome and competitors have been particularly creative,” says Dr. Monika Christl, head of the Bavarian competition. The winners will then be announced at a ceremony on Thursday, March 22, by the Bavarian Minister for Science and Education Dr. Ludwig Spaenle.
Dr. Ludwig Spaenle underlined the importance of the competition: “The state-wide Young Scientists competition invites students to engage independently and creatively with mathematical, scientific and technical phenomena. Young Scientists inspires students to invent and experiment and introduces them to the world of science, IT, mathematics and engineering. As such, the competition is an excellent addition to the various measures to promote STEM subjects and support gifted students in our schools.
Wacker Chemie AG has sponsored the state-wide competition in Bavaria every two years since 1998. “Every year I am impressed by how many ideas these young people produce,” says Auguste Willems, a member of WACKER’s Executive Board. The Young Scientists competition inspires them. In their work they are learning that setbacks come with the territory. If you want to go on to have a successful career in science, you have to understand the importance of persevering, not letting yourself get discouraged and finding new solutions.”
In 2018, Bavaria was the federal state with the most entrants for the eighth consecutive time: Almost 2,000 children and young people have registered for the regional competitions. Engineering is the preferred subject area (with 24% of Bavarian entries), followed by biology (18%) and chemistry (17%). A third of entrants are girls (32%). Across Germany the participation statistics are slightly different: Biology comes out on top (23.5%), fol-lowed by engineering (19.4%) and chemistry (18.5%). The percentage of female entrants nationwide is 38%.
About the Young Scientists Competition
“Young Scientists” is Europe’s largest competition for aspiring scientists and engineers, and promotes special talents and achievements in these areas. Launched in 1965 by Henri Nannen, the then editor-in-chief of Stern magazine, the competition is celebrating its 53rd anniversary in 2018. The organizer of this annual contest is the Jugend forscht e.V. foundation, while the individual regional and state-wide heats and the national finals are held in partnership with corporate sponsors.