Young scientists in the spotlight at annual competition

61 teenagers divided into 41 teams participated in this year’s youth science competition Photo: Fondations Jeunes Scientifiques Luxembourg

61 teenagers divided into 41 teams participated in this year’s youth science competition Photo: Fondations Jeunes Scientifiques Luxembourg

More than 60 teen scientists divided into 41 teams over the weekend participated in the annual Jonk Fuerscher national contest, with top prizes going to projects on cancer prevention and bacteria growth in Luxembourg’s Haute-Sûre lake.

The Jonk Fuerscher contest invites young people aged 11 to 21 to submit an independent scientific research project, which is evaluated by a jury that also awards a series of prizes. Crown Prince Guillaume is royal patron of the foundation behind the contest.

The prince was at hand on Sunday to award the winners together with prime minister Xavier Bettel (DP) and environment minister Carole Dieschbourg (déi Gréng).

Skye Beck, a 16-year-old student at the International School of Luxembourg, won one of the top prizes for a project analysing the impact of certain foods on the development of liver cancer.

Beck will be taking part in the Regeneron ISEF science fair in the US with his work, where more than 1,500 students from roughly 70 countries every year compete for cash awards, scholarships and other prizes.

The ISL student will be joined by Glenn Partsch, also from ISL. The 17-year-old investigated the development of blue-green algae in the Haute-Sûre lake in Luxembourg’s north and how nitrogen and phosphorous conditions affect their growth, with climate change concerns in mind.

Other projects at the fair included research on the ALS motor neurone disease, democracy, artificial intelligence and many more submissions in a variety of disciplines, from maths and chemistry to biology and music.