Regine Leidland had conducted research on 19th-century living conditions in Norway. (Photo: Thomas Keilman)
Roughly 250 pupils and students aged 13 to 21 years participate in the annual contest. The Proscientia project, administered under the Research Council of Norway, organises the event – the country’s oldest and most prestigious research contest for young people.
History and astronomy
This year’s entries were of particularly high quality at the lower secondary school level. The two 14-year-olds who split first prize had submitted research projects on 19th-century living conditions in Norway and calculations to measure positions on the earth's surface by tracking the movements of the sun and Polaris(the North Star).
Prizes for reptiles and Camus
At the upper secondary school level, first prize in the natural science and technology category went to an 18-year-old with a project on the reptilian fauna of a forest type found in Madagascar.
In the humanities category, this year’s top prize was awarded to a 19-year-old from Oslo whose project studied French author Albert Camus, examining among other things whether the novel The Stranger was a thought experiment.
Two groups of pupils from the same school had carried out projects researching how a machine could utilise the energy of ocean waves. The groups won first and second prize in the Blue Energy researcher contest, a part of the Norwegian Contest for Young Scientists.
The Blue Energy contest is held to spotlight issues relating to renewable marine energy, such as wave energy and offshore wind energy. The pupils collaborated with companies affiliated with SINTEF, Scandinavia’s largest independent research institution.
Mikhail Zakharov from Sandnes constructed a simple device to measure positions on the earth's surface by tracking the movements of the sun and Polaris. (Photo: Thomas Keilman)
Cash prizes and special awards
A total of 26 pupils won prizes in this year’s Norwegian Contest for Young Scientists. In addition, prizes were awarded in a young writers’ competition on freedom of expression, held annually in collaboration with the Freedom of Expression Foundation in Oslo.
In addition to cash prizes, pupils also win the opportunity to participate in international contests and seminars, such as the European Union Contest for Young Scientists, China Adolescents Science & Technology Innovation Contest, London International Youth Science Forum and Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar. The Research Council awards its own humanities prize – a visit to the research institution of one’s choice within the winner’s field of research.