Thursday, 31 March 2011

Euroschools Science Symposium

RSC Belgium was busy mid-March supporting the European Schools Science Symposium (ESSS) that took place this year from the 20th to 23rd at the European School Brussels II at Woluwe and at Eurocontrol. RSC Belgium provided speakers and sponsored a prize for the best chemistry-related entry.

As well as involving local RSC Belgium members, we were able to invite the RSC's interim CEO, Dr. Robert Parker, to Brussels to deliver a plenary address.

The ESSS is an annual opportunity for students from the 27 schools of the European School system to show off their scientific expertise. The European Schools system was established to provide native language teaching for the children of employees of the European Institutions. There are four schools in Brussels and the others are spread around Europe close to other major EU agencies from Bergen (NL) to Varese. In all 68 student projects were exhibited and described at the sysmposium.

Presentations and prizes
RSC Belgium attended the opening event on Sunday 20 March and provided two speakers. RSC interim Chief Executive Robert Parker (below) gave an entertaining after dinner address on 'Our future - chemists of the next generation'.

Before dinner RSC Belgium secretary Dr. Ian Carson had given a presentation on 'Science, Serendipity and Intrigue - the story of the modern potato crisp bag'.

The next two days were taken up with poster and oral presentations of the students' work at Eurocontrol. The Monday session was opened with some high-level speakers including EU Research Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn and Eurocontrol boss David McMillan. The symposium closed on Wednesday with prize giving and a presentation from RSC Belgium Chairman Prof Bob Crichton on 'The Powerful Potential of Chemistry'.

Mol winners
The winner of the RSC Chemistry prize was the European School at Mol in Belgium. The winning team - whose project featured a study on chewing gum - are pictured below with RSC Belgium Chairman Bob Crichton and Woluwe Headmaster Richard Galvin (far right of picture).

Congratulations to the Mol school and many thanks to section secretary Ian Carson who was the prime mover for the section's involvement with this initiative. Some of the RSC Belgium team involved are pictured at the opening Sunday event below - from left to right Robert Parker, Tim Reynolds, Bob Crichton, Ulrica Grankvist-Nybacka (deputy director of the secondary school at Woluwe) and Ian Carson.

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