Summer School for Young Scientists 2019

This year, for the first time, an interesting project under the name of the Summer School of Young Scientists was realized at the Slovak Academy on 15 - 19 July 2019. This project came from the workshop of All4Science civic association, created in 2018 as a result of SAS to improve the popularization of science and to bring science closer to primary school pupils. Although the subject matter came from All4Science, however, without financial support, the project could not be implemented. Thanks to the financial support from the grant call 2019: Support of Science and Research of the ESET Foundation 16 pupils - young scientists from the second level of primary schools from all over Slovakia, who were interested in science, their motivation letters addressed the organizers and gained their attention. The aim of the whole project was to deepen their knowledge in a fun way and give them practical skills in chemistry, physics, computer science, programming and biology.
This project is unique in its concept and program. Pupils were divided into small groups according to their own preferences and in these groups had a great opportunity to work on their own projects. They conducted their experiments under the leadership of SAS scientists, and they also had enough space for their own ideas and their implementation. Since great discoveries are mostly team work, our young scientists have also trained in team work. The project involved Institute of materials and machine mechanics of SAS, Institute of Polymers of SAS, Institute of Informatics of SAS, Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of SAS and Institute of Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology of CEM SAS.
What project did young scientists work at the Institute of materials and machine mechanics? How did the young scientists perceive the summer school?
At the Institute of materials and  machine mechanics, where the individual components of the cell phone were examined, eager  young scientists are happy to talk about the details of their week-long work: “We disassembled the phone, melted one part, put one into the 3D tomograph, for chemical analysis”. Young Scientists had a unique chance to get to know the workings of various material exploration devices. The individual components were monitored under a microscope. The expert commentary illustrated by interesting videos has stimulated discussion and a number of questions from Hugo, Edo and Simon. It was clear from their questions that their subject had captivated them. Finally, the boys were able to determine the properties of the material under study on a computer model. "We liked it very much, we would come next year again" they add. The boys worked under the close supervision of Ing. Naďa Beronská, PhD. Many thanks belong to Ing. Andrej Opálek PhD., Mrs. Ľudmila Padúchová, Ing. Miro Čavojský, PhD and Ing. Tomáš Dvorák, PhD who have helped with the implementation of a part of the project at the IMMM of SAS.
The young colleagues of Hugo, Edo and Simon attended on summer school were working simultaneously at the above mentioned Institutes of SAS and they were also doing well.
Complex insights into the scientific world were complemented by stimulating discussions with experts in specialized afternoon’s trainings, such as s doc. PaedDr. Vladimíra Kurincová Čavojová, PhD. from the Institute of Experimental Psychology CSPS SAS, who led the training of “soft skills”, young scientists discussed the correct preparation of the presentation but also how to manage stress before and during the presentation. Instructors from the Slovak Red Cross instructed young scientists about safety at work and saving human life. Thanks to the lecturer Denisa Leštachová from the language school they gained the space for improving of language skills. The adventurous introduction and means of getting to know the area of ​​the SAS was a game prepared for students by scientists from the Center for Quantum Information Research, Institute of Physics of SAS under the guidance of Doc. Mgr. Mario Ziman, PhD. Scientists, as well as other occupations, need rest and relax, for this reason the program was complemented by entertainment in the form of hiking, barbecues or sightseeing of the city of Bratislava. Finally, the results of young scientists experiments were presented to the other participants, parents, siblings and grandparents at the final conference on 19. July 2019.
The organizers of the first year of the summer school of young scientists were Ing. Alena Šišková, PhD. and Ing. Martin Nosko, PhD., especially thanks to their patience and creativity in creating a program for young scientists. Both are members of All4Science, o.z. and they were the ones who drew up the proposal and program of the project supported by ESET Foundation.
Thanks belong also to the media partners for promoting this event, especially to the non-profit organization Edulab, Quark magazine and - zone for every student.
The program of the summer school was obviously unique, interesting and balanced. The summer school not only deepened the interest of children and young people in science and technology, but also contributed to thinking about their own future and profession. They could experience what it was like to work in a lab, conduct experiments, and do research in that area. They will certainly be able to use their knowledge in their studies and further develop it, and they may even become scientists once they have worked with them last week.

Authors: Hana Mihaljevičová, Viktória Dominika Tóbiová and implementation team