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EYCN Contests

European Young Chemists´ Network
Last updated 28/06/2020

Photochimica

EYCA

Chemistry Rediscovered

2020

On earth day (April 22nd) the EYCN and RSC’s Photochimica 2020 competition came to an end.

The best photo winner is Philipp Gotico and is entitled Out of the Wasteland.

Did you know that it already takes more than one planet to absorb all our current solid wastes? There are existing efforts to reduce and recycle them, but they are often faced with the limitation of weakened material properties. Inspired by how plant roots can reinforce soil, we imagine that combining both plastic and agricultural wastes would result to better recycled materials. The scanning electron microscopy image shows how coconut fibers interact with blends of plastic and styrofoam wastes, raw from the dumpsite! These fiber-reinforced plastic composites can act as brick road alternatives, paving the way to sustainable future.

 

Best photo runner-up is Melanie Nutter with Glow and behold.

Could sunlight be the answer to our energy demands? Highly fluorescent organic compounds can have the potential to act as photocatalysts – using light to initiate and drive a chemical reaction. With interest in chemical processes shifting towards environmental sustainability, photochemistry is an attractive option as there is no need to heat the reaction and many organophotocatalysts absorb solar irradiation, a resource that is abundantly available in nature!

 

Most popular photo winner is Kyangzi Calderon Cerquera with Green lantern.

Here, Kyangzi Calderon Cerquera shows a Bodipy derivative solution under UV radiation. These derivatives have high fluorescent quantum yields around 1. Bodipy compounds could work as an antenna fragment in materials for solar cells.

2017

Radioactivity!

This was the theme of the previous (2017) edition of Photochimica, the European photography competition for scientific photography. The submission of photographs has ended and we received 35 photos from participants from 11 countries.

Take a look at the photos from the Photography in Chemistry (PC) section of Photochimica 2017:

Take a look at the photos from the Measurement Arts (MA) section of Photochimica 2017:

The first Photochimica 2017 exhibition took place during the Medicina-Scientia-Culturae – International Conference devoted to the achievements of Maria Skłodowska-Curie in Warsaw, University of Technology, Medical University of Warsaw, University of Warsaw (Poland) on November 6-8, 2017.

For the rules and regulations, please visit this link.

 

2016

Under the slogan “Chemistry is everywhere!” the EYCN wanted to promote chemistry through visual arts and to show presence of chemistry in our daily life and situations.The competition was aimed at people under 35 years who are passionate in photography and chemistry.

Take a look at the photos from the Photography in Chemistry (PC) section of Photochimica 2016:

 

Take a look at the photos form the Measurement Arts (MA) section of Photochimica 2016:

All the photographs are the property of the authors. Copyrights without the author’s consent are forbidden and will be treated as a criminal act. The participants gave the organizers (EYCN) the right to reproduce their photographs s for promotional purposes of Photochimica 2016.

The aim of the European Young Chemist Award (EYCA) is to showcase and recognize the excellent research being carried out by young scientists working in the chemical sciences. In particular the award is intended to honor and encourage younger chemists whose current research displays a high level of excellence and distinction. It seeks to recognize and reward younger chemists of exceptional ability who show promise for substantial future achievements in chemistry-related research fields.

2020

Currently, calls have just been closed and the jury is assessing the candidates! Due to the delay of the 8th ECC in Lison due to Covid-19, the winners will be announced during an online event, this year. You can find all information here.

2018

The European Young Chemist Award 2018 (EYCA2018; http://eyca2018.org) was presented in Liverpool during the 7th EuChemS Chemistry Congress (7ECC). Under the patronage of EuChemS, the 7ECC and the European Young Chemists’ Network (EYCN), EYCA2018 has been sponsored by the Italian Chemical Society (SCI) and the Federazione Nazionale degli Ordini dei Chimici e dei Fisici in Italy (FNCF). The award aims to showcase and recognize the excellent research being carried out by young scientists working in the chemical sciences. Researchers from all over the world applied to the award.

After being selected on the basis of the judgements of the Coveners of the 7ECC and/or of recognized experts in the field, the finalists presented their research by a talk in front of a jury composed by professors Luisa De Cola (University of Strasbourg), Christophe Copéret (ETH Zurich) and Gaetano Guerra (University of Salerno). At the competition were present Prof. Angela Agostiano and Dr. Nausicaa Orlandi, Presidents of the SCI and FNCF respectively, which sponsored the Prize for about 6000 euros. The Award Advisory Boardwere composed by Federico Bella (SCI), Nausicaa Orlandi (FNFC), Alice Soldà (EYCN), Victor Mougel (EYCN), Magnus Johnson (EYCN) and the general organization was by Camillo Sartorio. In the presence of Prof. Bruno Pignataro (Chair of the Award), Prof. Pilar Goya (the President of EuChemS) and Dr. Alice Soldà (the Chair of the European Young Chemist Network), the winners of the two categories covered by the EYCA (PhD level and level 35 years) were presented during the 7ECC closing ceremony.

At the 35 years old level won the EYCA2018 Alessandro Porchetta (University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy) and have got the two silver medals Matteo Atzori (University of Florence, Italy) and Simone Fabiano (Linköping University, Sweden). The winners of EYCA2018 at the PhD level were Tim Gatznmeier (Gold medal, Max Plank Institute für Kolenforshung, Germany), Lichen Liu (Silver medal; Valencia University, Spain) and Clément Larquet (Silver medal; Sorbonne University, France). A special mention was also given to Erica Del Grosso (University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome).

Read the article “The European Young Chemist Award 2018” by Prof. Dr. Bruno Pignataro that was published in Chem. Eur. J. 2018, 24, 17164–17169 by following this link.

 

2016

The European Young Chemist Award 2016 is intended to showcase and recognize the excellent research carried out by young scientists working in the chemical sciences.

Congratulations to the winners of the European Young Chemist Award – EYCA 2016!

At the PhD level, Guilio Ragazzon (University of Bologna) was honored with the gold medal and Mercedes Zurro de la Fuente (University of Regensburg) was honoured with the silver medal.

Special mentions were given to Federico Bella (Politecnico di Torino), Filippo Monti (CNR and University of Bologna), Bill Morandi (Max Planck Institute for Coal Research, Mülheim) and Silvia Osuna (Universitat di Girona).

The awards were sponsored by the Società Chimica Italiana (SCI) and the Consiglio Nazionale dei Chimici (CNC), and the special mentions were sponsored by the Asociación Nacional de Químicos de España (ANQUE).

The 2016 award scheme operated under the patronage of EuChemS, SCI, CNC, EYCN and ANQUE.

For more information about the past EYCA awards click here.

Chemistry Rediscovered

2019

2019 marked the 150th anniversary of Dimitri Mendeleev’s development of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. That is why, the United Nations has proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT 2019). Being the best “friend” of a scientist for predicting the appearance and properties of the matter, the Periodic Table of the Elements represents one of the most significant achievements in science.
To join in this special celebration, EYCN organized the second edition of its video competition Chemistry Rediscovered in honour of the IYPT. We are proud to present you the winners below!

 

1st Place over 18 – Marco Carlotti

Chemistry is all around us. At any moment, wherever we are, whatever we are doing, we are always surrounded by atoms from all over the periodic table combined in countless ways to make the molecules.

On our daily basis, we are more likely to interact with molecules rather than single elements: this is because our needs – from smartphones, to food, to the very processes that happen in our cells – require a level complexity that elements alone cannot provide.

Their rarity is the reason why everyone always feels a spark of curiosity when interacting with a pure element. It is true that nowadays, thanks to chemical technologies, we have an easy access to many pure elements – like the aluminum foil in your kitchen or copper in electric wires –, yet one cannot but feel amazement when seeing a new pure element for the first time.

Maybe for this reason, finding pure elements in nature can be extremely fascinating. Unfortunately, only a handful of them can exist in such ‘native’ state, and the chances of finding one decrease as we move away, in terms of periodic table, from the noble metals like gold, platinum, and silver. But there are exceptions!

In this video I traveled to a geothermal spot among the hills of central Italy, to show how and where you can find your own elemental Sulfur, one of the few non-metals that can be found pure and not bound to any other element. But beware – as often in chemistry – it won’t smell nice!

2nd Place over 18 – Louis Godeffroy, Auriane Perrin and My-An Tran

This video aims at familiarizing the general public to the lesser known, still very useful element that is gallium. In fact, gallium was found in many electronic devices we use every day as a semiconductor dopant or as a semiconductor itself when it is bound to nitrogen to form gallium nitride. The latter is likely to replace silicon-based semiconductors in the near future due to its exceptional properties. This video also emphasizes on the impact of Mendeleev’s theory of the periodic table in the sense that most of the gallium’s properties, such as its low melting point, and even its existence (eka-aluminium) had been predicted by Mendeleev himself thanks to the periodic table. Gallium was discovered in 1875, a few years after Mendeleev’s predictions, by French chemist Paul-Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran. As mentioned before, it has a remarkably low melting point of 29.7 °C. This enables one to mold metallic objects without being burnt. In the video, a variant of the famous mercury beating heart using the non-toxic gallium is shown. Gallium also has a few academic applications such as in Focused Ion Beam or to synthesize oxide thin films on the surface of gallium droplets.

3rd Place over 18 – Jana Čimžar, Domen Otorepec and Mark Selan

The purpose of the submitted video is to broaden horizons about the importance of chemical element carbon and to present its impacts on mankind.

Carbon nucleus 12C is formed during nuclear fusion process which occurs in stars, where enormous temperature and pressure are assured. During the fusion process two helium nuclei 4He combine to form a beryllium nucleus 8Be. Due to instability of the latter one another fusion process with helium nucleus 4He follows. Since three alpha particles are included in fusion process to form carbon nucleus 12C, the process is named triple alpha process. During fusion processes gamma rays are emitted.

Carbon is the fourth most abundant element in the universe by mass after hydrogen, helium and oxygen. It is a structural important element of essential molecules of life as it is presented in proteins, carbohydrates, lipids as also in nucleic acids, e.g. DNA.

In 1869 Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev designed the first periodic table, in which he classified chemical elements and predicted accurately the properties of in that time yet unknown chemical elements. Among other elements also carbon appeared in the first periodic table.

Carbon in various forms caused an enormous impact on human life in history, e.g. black gunpowder was partly composed of it, as a principal source of energy it played an important role in industrial revolution, usage for writing with graphite pencils, carbon paper was used for making copies, carbon was also included in wars because of diamond mining, discovery of fullerenes and ground breaking 2D material graphene were awarded with Nobel prizes in 1996 and 2010, discovery of

nanotubes, etc.

In the end, a practical use of carbon is demonstrated through the experiment where with dehydration of sugar (sucrose), H2SO4 and followed activation with CaCl2 activated carbon was prepared. The latter was then used as a filtration agent as it was added to a stirring yellow coloured solution KI/I2 that was afterwards filtered. Due to adsorption of iodine on activated carbon, the filtered solution resulted as purified water.

1st Place under 18 – Daniel Estrada Ramírez, Petronela Oltita Ghitoaica, Emma Juanpere Colomina and Jhasmin Edith Suarez Santalla

The main purpose of this video was to show you how to tackle with Chemistry in a different way instead of using the traditional approach. We tried to find a didactic and creative way to convey a visual and entertaining idea in order to get closer to the viewer.

Have you ever wondered about what would the elements of the periodic table be like if they were human?

We have moved thus into our High School scenario experimenting with the periodic table trying to explore how it could be like if the elements behaved like real teenagers. We have represented the most known elements and we have personified them by assigning each one a personality, taking into account their intrinsic chemical characteristics. Then, we have created a storyline for them to live together, as they do in nature, but adapted to their school background. All this was done in order to show people unconventional ways of how the elements work, because new methods to transmit the passion for chemistry can be found while innovating and using one’s imagination.

2nd Place (shared) under 18 – Emmanouil Dimitroulakis, Evangelia Galanaki, Georgios Grammatikakis, Theodoros Papatzanakis and Teacher: Ioannis Chatzidakis

The video "In your element: iodine" features physical, chemical and biological properties of the iodine element. In the first part, we demonstrate the transitions between solid and gaseous states of iodine. The purple iodine fumes as well as the shiny iodine crystals formed make this demonstration experiment really impressive.

Next, we perform a variant of "the iodine clock" reaction(s). It is a classical chemistry experiment in which the abrupt color changes make it suitable both for teaching reaction kinetics and chemistry demonstrations. We timed the color development with pouring making it more spectacular and then we decolorized the solution just to bring the color back after a few seconds!

Digging in biochemistry, we show under the microscope the characteristic coloration, shape and patterns of potato starch granules as stained with iodine/iodide solution (Lugol). Then we highlight the importance of iodine as a micronutrient in human diet and we show a small part of a titration method for determining supplemented potassium iodide in table salt.

Finally, a tiny amount of the contact explosive nitrogen triiodide is detonated (NI3). (Note: Nitrogen triiodide was synthesized and let dry by the supervisor.)

Music is excerpts from “1812 Overture” by P. I. Tchaikovsky. It was chosen because of its vibrance and rhythm and some notable parallelisms with our video: "1812 overture" was synthesized in commemoration of important Napoleonic war battles. At the same time, in 1811, iodine was serendipitously discovered during saltpeter preparation which was in need during Napoleonic wars! Moreover, NI3 was first synthesized in 1812!

2nd Place (shared) under 18 – Laura Gili Camino and Tessa Forns Carrera

Life is quite complex and a living organism is composed of many different cells, which work together through a perfect regulation of multiple molecular pathawys. This video shows us which chemical elements are most important for the composition of our bodies and explains their main purpose and abundance.

2018/2019

To join in the special celebration of the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT 2019), EYCN organizes the second edition of its video competition Chemistry Rediscovered in honor of the IYPT. All young chemists and interested people of 12-35 years old are invited to send in videos on the theme “In Your Element”. The best videos will be awarded wonderful Periodic Table related prizes and the main prize will be a trip to Paris! Read more in our Info sheet CR2018!

All details about the competition and how to participate can be found in the Rules and Regulations. For any further questions you may have, please contact the EYCN Science Team at . Make sure to send us your video before the 31st of January 2019!

 

2017

Chemistry Rediscovered – Playing with chemical reactions

On behalf of the European Young Chemists’ Network (EYCN), the younger members division of the European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuChemS), we are very thankful for your participation in this first edition of the European video contest – Chemistry Rediscovered. This contest intended to promote chemistry among the young high-school students from all Europe. This was achieved with the help of teachers who developed scientific projects together with their students and encouraged them to present their findings in a form of a video-experiment, together with an accurate experimental protocol. We received a total of 15 amazing videos and experimental protocols from 8 participant countries and the quality and originality of the projects exceeded all expectations for this inaugural edition. It was a pleasure to watch every single one of them!

Please find below the overall classification of this competition and the videos that won the first three places.

Chemistry Rediscovered – Final results

1st Place 2nd Place 2nd Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Portugal Portugal Greece Italy Belgium
Watch Video Watch Video Watch Video Watch Video Watch Video

Here are some photos of the winners in 2016 from Portugal, enjoying their victory trip to London!

Thank you once again for your participation, we definitely hope to have you as participants in our upcoming events!

After a very successful project, the EYCN wants to thank our partner EVONIK and our sponsors BASF Romania and Brenntag Romania for all the help and support they contributed and an amazing cooperation.

You can read previous Rules and Regulations and Project Application for Chemistry Rediscovered 2016.