Born as an event designed by and for students, from October 2 to 27 the “Second University Scientific Tournament (II-TCU)” will be held. National in scope, the contest was organized by young members of the independent project “Let’s talk about science.”
The tournament modality is hybrid with talks, dissertations, and virtual activities plus an in-person closing event in which prizes and certificates will be presented. The opening will be online on Friday, October 6 and will be broadcast live via the web.
The activity is mainly aimed at young people who are studying STEM careers, that is, those linked to Natural Sciences, Technology, Engineering and/or Mathematics. In any case, registration is free for any student at public and private universities in Argentina. You can sign up until Thursday, October 5, inclusive, at this link.
The event is financed and supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Córdoba and received institutional endorsement from different universities in the country such as the National University of Córdoba (UNC), the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), the National University of Litoral (UNL) and the National University of Río Cuarto (UNRC), among others.
During the first edition of the tournament, 430 university students from 22 Argentine provinces participated, with Córdoba being the one that brought together 43% of the competitors. This year’s goal is to reach 1,000 participants.
Contest. The tournament calls for students from any public or private university in the country. (Pedro Castillo / The Voice)
“For us it is an instance of training rather than competition. That’s why we want to encourage students to sign up because they are very enriching events. There are few spaces where one can connect with students from all over the country and in traditional related careers it is something that is not addressed,” Lucas Tosolino, biology and geology student at UNC and one of the coordinators, told La Voz. of the event.
Jimena Dornauf, also a biology student, said that she joined the organizing team after participating in last year’s edition and being very satisfied.
“The experience gave me the opportunity to work in interdisciplinary science teams, something that had never happened to me in my career. It was a real challenge to talk about the same topic but from different approaches and reach a common point. Communicating between people from different disciplines is not as easy as it seems,” she indicated.
Creating an event of these characteristics arose from the detection of a need. There was no such thing as a science Olympiad in a university context, but rather each discipline was handled separately and formed its “microworld.”
Like a bottle with a message thrown into the sea, they decided to write a project and send it to the ministry. They never thought they would receive a response, but they did. They liked the idea so much that after a meeting they got to work with the peace of mind that they would have the funds to carry out the project.
Instances of participation
Participation in the tournament is virtual, asynchronous and divided into three stages. Topics of biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics will be addressed, core areas that cross the course of STEM careers.
In addition, problematic situations will arise that will interconnect these areas. They must be solved by students applying the knowledge acquired and appealing to ingenuity, creativity and an integrated conception of natural sciences.
The first instance begins on October 2 and ends on October 5. It is individual and consists of answering a logic and graph interpretation questionnaire with multiple choice and true/false modality. It is completed through the virtual classroom (Moodle platform) of the Faculty of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences of the UNC.
Based on the scores obtained, a “momentary order of merit” will be established to establish who will continue to the second stage. It will be 60% of the best positioned students, around 600, taking into account the total objective of participants.
The second instance will address the public communication of science and will begin on October 9 in a hybrid manner at the “Córdoba de la Nueva Andalucía” Cultural Center (UNC) with the keynote talk by Fabricio Ballarini, a Conicet researcher at the Memory Laboratory of the Institute of Cellular Biology.
After this, the creation of working groups is planned that will have the objective of preparing a text in the form of a scientific communication journalistic article on a previously stipulated topic of interest.
Of the 600 participants in this stage, a new cut-off line of 200 students will be established again.
The third instance involves the scientific-business link and will run from October 23 to 27. In work teams, members must solve a specific problematic situation in a new way, integrating all thematic areas.
Contest. The tournament will take place between October 2 and 27 and there is time to register until next Thursday. (Pedro Castillo / The Voice)
About Let’s Talk About Science
The scientific communication project born in Córdoba is made up of a team of five young STEM students and professionals specialized in different areas and committed to the communication of natural sciences.
It all started in 2020 when, in the midst of the Covid-19 health crisis, Lucas Tosloino and Lihue Ferro thought of a space to bring together and enhance people’s enthusiasm for science.
With small steps and learning along the way about photo editing, video editing and social networks, they both shaped a network that began to grow with the support of people from Córdoba and other parts of Argentina.
“We like to say that we try to democratize access to knowledge. Through everyday questions like why are clouds white? or what happens when lightning strikes the Earth? We consult books, scientific articles and talk to researchers to then put together digital content that answers that question with all the support and scientific rigor but translated into a more pleasant language,” Lucas explained.
Today they are on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook and meet periodically to design content and organize events such as the tournament and a university science camp. The latter is held in Santa María de Punilla, it has already had two editions this year and a third is planned.
“As we all pursue different careers and have complicated schedules during the week, we meet on Sunday mornings. Now with the organization of the tournament we are doing it more often. “We are very excited and anxious,” added Jimena.