Campus - 26.04.2023 - 15:00
The 126 young scientists from all over Switzerland spent one year working on their projects before coming to the event. As a grand finale, the HSG hosted in April the 57th national competition of the "Swiss Youth in Science" [Schweizer Jugend forscht] foundation. The public was also invited to the presentation of the results. The results were showcased with pride and the audience was amazed and engaged in discussions. The young scientists, aged 16 to 23, brought compelling topics from various fields such as "Biology and Environment," "Chemistry, Biochemistry and Medicine," "Design, Architecture, and Arts," "History, Geography, Economics, and Society," "Literature, Philosophy, and Language," "Mathematics and Computer Science," as well as "Physics and Technology."
Excitement was already in the air on the first day on the ground floor of the SQUARE As the President Bernhard Ehrenzeller explained in his speech, the SQUARE building was built to promote lively exchange between students. It serves as a space for inspiration, new ideas and friendships. The finalists should also experience this during the three-day event. The president also encouraged the young scientists to continue exploring topics that no one had explored before.
At the public exhibitions, we mingled with the visitors and talked to a few finalists about their inventions and motivations as well as the mood at SQUARE. It quickly became clear that the young scientists were not only passionate about their own topics but also intrigued by the topics presented by their peers.
At the eagerly awaited award ceremony on the third day, the finalists were honoured for their work with the grades "good", "very good" or "outstanding". In addition, 35 special awards were bestowed.
"You are all winners, hold on to this feeling," said the President Bernhard Ehrenzeller to the young scientists before the award ceremony. Always remaining curious and taking risks are the traits of the "inner child" that anyone, regardless of their age, can tap into and reconnect with.
"Innovation surrounds us, and it inspires us," summarised Jérémie Aebischer, project manager from "Swiss Youth in Science", and handed over the floor to the keynote speaker and former Ph.D. student at the HSG, Prof. Dr Bettina Maisch. "Start with what you love and follow your passion," she encouraged the finalists. "If plans do not go as desired, think about how you can get better and change your strategy." Based on her own scientific experience, Bettina Maisch recommended: If you want to create true "impact", you will find it in interdisciplinary teams.
Finally, we asked three of the special award winners. Joanne Azariah from Basel has developed a model for the education system that makes it easier to predict grades. With her research work, she wanted to bring artificial intelligence to schools. She was awarded the special prize from the "Swiss Innovation Forum (SIF)". Luca Charlier from Fribourg won the special award from the "Stockholm International Young Science Seminar" for his project in mathematics where he calculated the asymptotic density of several subsets of natural numbers. Anna Ilg from Zurich examined the past and future of Namibia in her project and explored whether land reform was a suitable instrument for overcoming societal disparities in the country. She won the special award from the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), which was a dream come true for her.
Anyone who watched the young scientists for three days could not escape their enthusiasm. Curiosity is contagious. Let's hope that their fascination for the adventure of science will never dry up. As you heard at SQUARE, the heart is always a reliable companion on this journey. It knows the way.
Images: "Swiss Youth in Science" [Schweizer Jugend forscht] foundation