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Portugal stands out in the European Competition for Young Scientists

This post is also available in: Português (Portuguese (Portugal))

This year, six young people represented Portugal in two projects in the most prestigious European Competition for Young Scientists (EUCYS 2021), which ended yesterday in Salamanca, Spain.

The ATMOS project was awarded the Special Prize “JRC-Joint Research Center Prize”. The award-winning young scientists will spend two days at ISPRA’s facilities in Italy in Italy, in the company of scientists from across Europe, according to their own.

JRC is the science and knowledge service of the European Commission. It conducts direct scientific research and provides evidence-based, independent scientific advice to European policymakers, helping them to make informed decisions.

This project was carried out by three young scientists from Colégio Luso-Francês do Porto, namely Klára Varga, Sara Couto, and João Carvalho, all 19 years old, and supervised by Professor Rita Rocha, was awarded the JRC special prize.

The project consists in the quantification of polluting particulate matter, suspended in the atmosphere, adsorbed by the trees. It was developed in one of the busiest streets in the city of Porto, near the school, for two years.

The innovation of ATMOS was related to the development of an alternative sampling and calculation methodology to that conventionally described in the literature: trees are not opaque curtains and, as such, the adsorption of pollutants takes place in layers, deep in the crown. of the trees.

Thus, a calculation method based on the green surface area was not enough. Alternatively, the young scientists brought together geometry, dendrology, biology and economics and created what they called the ATMOS method.

According to the study, the environmental service provided by green corinas in urban spaces is far superior to that estimated so far, and this nature-based solution is an interesting measure to be adopted in planning our cities.

The European Union Competition for Young Scientists, better known as ‘EUCYS’, rewards and celebrates the best young scientific talent in Europe. Every year, the event brings together promising young scientists from across Europe and beyond to present their projects to an international jury panel.

Over the years there have been some amazing inventions and creative ways to use science in everyday life. The Contest is a good example of an activity that serves not only to encourage interest in science, but also to promote the exchange of ideas among past participants, who have often expressed the positive impact of this aspect of the Contest.

They believe it has opened the gateway to Europe and further afield for their careers, and has also fostered a strong interest in learning other European languages. The Contest is also a useful tool for the development of a pan-European scientific community. It has significantly contributed to the popularization of science among young people. This year it celebrated its 32nd edition.

Promoted by the European Commission, the competition included the participation of 73 projects, carried out by 108 young scientists, who submitted projects from the most varied areas of science, such as Biology, Environmental Sciences, Medical Sciences, Social Sciences, Engineering, Physics or Computer Science.

Representing Portugal were two teams of young Portuguese who were selected from the 14th National Exhibition of Virtual Science, promoted by the Youth Foundation, last November.

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