On March 21, 2014 the first National Express Yourself Conference (nEYC) of the German partner took place at the University of Education Heidelberg including ten exciting student presentations from five research-inspired schools. Represented were the Pestalozzi School from Mannheim, the Liebfrauen School from Bensheim, the Johann-Sebastian-Bach – Gymnasium from Mannheim, the Gymnasium Englisches Institut from Heidelberg and the Gymnasium Gammertingen. Each group presented their research project as a scientific lecture, and in addition, numerous scientific poster presentations, which also dealt with the research themes “Earth and Universe” have been displayed at the conference site. In the final, the 10th class of the Johann- Sebastian -Bach Gymnasium stood against the 9th class of Liebfrauen School from Bensheim. In an exciting and extremely tight duel the final was won by the students of the Liebfrauen School (Congrats!).
To make a long story short – we are delighted with so much spirit of inquiry – Whether it is the incinerator, which was presented as a model of Lego bricks or the project to extrapolate the specific needs of bread bags at the school. We were all most fascinated by the functioning Phepps , mobile miniature generators with which small amounts of electricity can be produced (or more correctly converted). No wonder, that one of these devices by the confident expert lecture by Anna -Marie Baier, Yvonne Hettinger , Sara -Florentine Milcent , Theresa Stellrecht and Jule Winkler from the 10th grade of the Johann- Sebastian -Bach Gymnasium under the direction of Karl -Heinz Graf moved into the finals.
Yasmine Douahem, Theresa Huntemann, Laura Löser, Alessia Nadia and Olivia Wachtel from the 9th grade of Liebfrauenschule Bensheim also succeeded and went into the finals. They were accompanied by their supervising teacher Annette Flechsig. In many intensive, small steps experiments they had tested the best-fit components for a self-made heat collector and this subsequently built. Here, the students showed an astonishing scientific care – each component was initially considered individually in elaborate series of tests and then tested in interaction with the others. For each item, the pupils had given some thought to what function it should take in the overall structure and had checked whether it was appropriate for their model. With this presentation, the group was able to convince the jury, who had great difficulties selecting a winner from two top-notch presentations.
The jury was also highly impressed by the work of the students Lisa Mäurle, Matthias Rauscher, Catherine Werz and Ann -Kathrin Worch from the 10th grade of Gymnasium Gammertingen under their teacher Verena Jannack. They had dealt with the casing of a landfill site and worked out experimentally, how the layers (selected under biological aspects) should be arranged to detoxify occurring leachate and neutralize with respect to the pH-value. For this, the eloquent and very well prepared group had even written a research report they presented to the jury.
The students of the Gymnasium Englisches Institut Heidelberg could come up with two different presentations: On the one hand, the group of Dr. Carsten Mundus dealt with the empirical determination of suitable solar collector surfaces, on the other hand the team of Dr. Armin Rasche dealt with a risk assessment of the chances of a collision of different celestial bodies with the earth – both lectures were able to convince.
The 8th grade of Mr. Rempe of the Gymnasium Gammertingen investigated the properties of infrared radiation in terms of absorption and reflection and this could present first results.
The Pestalozzi Energy Team (PET) of the Pestalozzi School Mannheim presented their concept for a sustainable construction of a residual landfill in two closely related lectures. According to their own research and a survey of numerous experts in the fields of waste disposal and earthworks, the students were able to present successfully their design to the audience and the jury.
Concerned with the water and oxygen supply of astronauts on an 800-day Mars trip were the students of Dr. Nicolas Chalwatzis from the Liebfrauen School Bensheim. Extensive analyzes and a private plant experiment led to numerous ideas and an irrigation model for future spacecraft designs.
The students of Dr. Jens-Peter Knemeyer of the Johann-Sebastian-Bach Gymnasium in Mannheim presented their specially programmed scientific website on Big Bang theories and could come up with astounding and enlightening effects and sound content.
Herewith, we thank all participating groups and teachers. You have made it possible that the conference turned out to be a complete success. We appreciate the high quality of the contributions and wish for further contact with the young researchers of these schools.
Furthermore: the best of luck to our winning team and success and a good time in Sheffield!