“Vím Proč!”: School Science Contest Rewards Promising Young Czech Scientists

The annual school science competition “Vím Proč” is returning this year. All primary and secondary level schoolchildren in the Czech Republic are invited to submit a three-minute video demonstrating a physics experiment, and could win CZK 10,000 for themselves and CZK 200,000 for their school. Photo credit: Freepik

Czech Republic, Feb 7, 2022 (BD) – The annual school science competition “Vím Proč” (“I Know Why”) is offering a total of CZK 500,000 in prizes for schoolchildren who submit the best videos of physics experiments. As well as cash prizes for the students themselves, CZK 200,000 will also go to the winning team’s school in both main categories. There will also be special prizes for the best video experiment made by an all-girl team, the best experiment involving green energy sources, and for the most popular video with the public.

Contestants have several months to plan and record their films. They can upload short videos of their experiments to www.vimproc.cz until May 15th. At the same website they can also watch all the videos from previous years, which can serve not only as inspiration for their own work, but also as interesting teaching material for teachers.

Now in its 8th year, the competition shows children that physics can be a lot of fun. The children’s task is to make a short video in which they explain a physical phenomenon or law through an experiment. The aim is to show that physics is not just boring formulas, but that it can be fun to experiment with the most ordinary objects.

This year’s Vím Proč contest also offers two additional competition categories. A power bank with a solar panel can be won by those who decide to film an experiment using renewable energy sources (sun, water, wind) or an experiment related to nuclear energy.

“Energy is actually a great demonstration of what we can do with physics: we can harness the energy of water, steam, wind, atomic nuclei and sunlight to our advantage, and we are working on making artificial stars on Earth. We believe that if young people find their way to physics, maybe some of them will decide to join us in the future and change energy in a way that is as friendly as possible for our planet,” said Martin Máca, head of the ČEZ strategic recruitment team that organizes Vím Proč.

As well as that, girls-only teams automatically compete to win a fun physics show for their whole class by the Údif (or Amazing Physics Theatre) troupe. “Our surveys show that physics is still perceived as more of a subject ‘for boys’. We therefore want to encourage all inquisitive girls to disregard such outdated views and instead enjoy the experimentation to the full. There are a lot of very interesting career opportunities for women in the energy sector,” added Máca.

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