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IS Stavanger Students Win Norwegian Competition for Young Scientists/Researchers

By Katharine Mudra
IS Stavanger Students Win Norwegian Competition for Young Scientists/Researchers

For another year running, a student from the International School of Stavanger (ISS) claimed one of only two prizes awarded at the regional Konkurransen Unge Forskere (Norwegian Contest for Young Scientists/Researchers). Held at Vitengarden, 35 students from seven schools competed from Rogaland. There is one winner in each of two categories: Science & Technology, and Humanities.
Due to the large number of entrants, Rogaland county is the only one requiring a semi-final round—a positive reflection of the strong academic learning community in this region.
ISS Student Is Third Child in Family to Win Regional Unge Forskere
Mikhail Zakharov, the final prize winner in the Science & Technology category, received the award for his “investigation of salinity impact on rate and amplitude of the seasonal water temperature changes in a fjord in Western Norway.”
Mikhail (Norwegian-Russian) is the third child in his family to be invited to the national competition. His parents are thrilled: “It was not a big surprise that the younger siblings got motivated to participate in the competition after their elder brother managed to get a prize in 2011,” said Mikhail’s father. “The International School of Stavanger does its best to promote creativity and make the students well informed about the potential benefits from participation in this research contest.”
This was in fact Mikhail’s second award from Unge Forskere, since he also won in the middle school (ungdomskole) division in 2012.
Two ISS Students Win National Competition
Mikhail and another student, Benjamin Gordon (British-Norwegian), were selected to attend the national final competition in Oslo.
Mikhail took first place at the Oslo event in Science & Technology, winning NOK10,000 (US$1,200) and an invitation to the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Brussels and to the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar, where students meet Nobel Laureates.
Benjamin took a second place prize in Science & Technology, winning NOK7,000 (US$840) and an invitation to the European Space Camp on Andøya.
For 17 straight years, ISS students have represented Rogaland in the national competition.
“Original research and critical thinking are key in teaching and learning,” says ISS Director Mr. Gareth Jones. “ISS has been successful in this Norwegian national research competition for many years and we are very proud of our young researchers and their professionalism. Our faculty is delighted to see this outcome.”
The high school principal, Dr. Liam Browne, shared, “We congratulate our two finalists and all those who entered the competition. It is a testament to the hard work put in by students and their teachers.”
This year, 23 finalists out of 128 submissions from around Norway headed to Oslo for the final round (six finalists, or 26 pecent, are from Rogaland). Nearly all of the finalists study at one of Norway’s 25 IB Diploma schools, from Kristiansand kathedralskole Gimle in the south to Kirkenes videregående in the north.
Lynn Park, International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme coordinator at ISS, said, “The IB Diploma is extremely well-regarded by universities around the world and provides the balanced, well-rounded program that fits with our school philosophy. In addition to developing the research skills successfully demonstrated in this competition, students also have the opportunity to participate in other educational opportunities preparing them for university studies or employment.”
Celebrating its 50th school year, ISS has been successfully offering the IB Diploma Program to Rogaland students for 20 years.
These 2016 results follow last year’s national 2015 Unge Forskere competition, where students from the International School of Stavanger won more cash prizes and academic trips than any other school in Norway.

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