28 AUGUST 2002

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Maltese Students participate in International Scientific Experience

Last month, sixth-form students Reuben Borg, Dion Scerri, Tessa Bugeja, Keith Vella, Kristian D’Amato and David Borg Bartolo, set out to Slovakia, together with their group leader Sandra Scicluna on a flight kindly sponsored by Air Malta. The objective of the visit was to participate in the Expo Science Europe 2002 (ESE), which was held in the country’s capital city, Bratislava. The participants were chosen from the prizewinners from two different competitions, the NSTF Malta Students Science Forum and the NSTF Contest for Young Scientists.

The ESE proved to be an extremely fascinating experience, where projects presented by students from over 30 different nations provided an insight into the scientific standards of the youth in their countries. The exposition was opened by the Slovak minister of education on Monday 15th in the sparkle of the camera flashguns. The exhibition was housed in a large hall with over 400 stands and was open to the public in the morning. At this time, it was possible even for the participants to go around and see the other scientific projects brought by the rest of the delegations. The ESE was not all work. We enjoyed ourselves playing a football tournament and attending discos organised almost every night. This helped us socialise with the participants from other countries.

The ESE administration also organised numerous excursions. There were trips to the Slovnaft oil refinery, the _erven_ Kame_ castle, Bratislava’s historical center, Banská _tiavnica a town in central Slovakia, Budapest and Vienna. The trip to Slovnaft was particularly interesting to us as it showed the technical side of what we learn as abstract equations in class. The sheer scale of the apparatus needed to conduct the reactions was something that is very hard for us students to imagine. The trips to the castle and the historical center served mainly to educate us further in the history of Central Europe and were of great interest to us.

On one of the nights, a cultural evening was held. This consisted of the various delegations putting up a show for the other delegates. Among the performances were traditional dances, presentations and mimes. Our presentation, which displayed pictures, projected through computer, of a variety of historical places in Malta, was very well received.

In Budapest, we were taken to the most prominent landmarks, among them Heroes’ Square and the Castle District. Hungary is striving to recover after decades of communism and Budapest, once a flourishing city, is now being restored to it former glory.

Vienna teems with historical landmarks. We enjoyed visiting many of the important historical sites like the Stephansdom cathedral, the Hofburg Imperial Palace and Schönbrunn Palace.

In conclusion, we would like to thank the National Student Travel Foundation (Malta), AirMalta, the Parliamentary Secretariat within the Ministry for Education, Malta International Airport and the Ministry for Resources and Infrastructure for making our trip possible.


Copyright © Network Publications Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07, Malta
Tel: (356) 21382741-3, 21382745-6 | Fax: (356) 21385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt