A student team from Israel won seven medals at the 13th World Earth Sciences Olympics recently held in South Korea, with 172 contestants from 43 countries participating.
This is the seventh time that Israel has sent a team funded by Israel’s Ministry of Science and Technology. The competition was attended by international research teams with the aim of finding solutions to the global climate crisis through cross-border partnerships. The Israelis won two team gold medals, as well as a personal silver medal, three individual bronze medals, and a team bronze medal.
The competition included theoretical and practical knowledge examinations, group and personal knowledge, and involved all areas of earth sciences: geosphere, hydrosphere, oceanography, atmosphere, space science and the planet. Part of the event is a field exploration task conducted in an unfamiliar environment in which competitors are tasked with solving a complex scientific phenomenon involving all the Earth’s systems.
This year, the expeditions were sent to a site in South Korea where traces of dinosaurs were examined to determine how the effects of the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, and the geosphere were still affecting the diversity of animal life in the area. Other phenomena studied included typhoons in South Korea and why they occur there and not in other parts of the world, such as the Middle East. Students also examined the relationship between the popular Kimchi (sauerkraut) in South Korean cuisine and the Earth’s multi-level systems effect on the food.
The delegation was prepared by Prof. Nir Orion of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Ron Ben Shalom of the Davidson Institute of Science Education and Dr. Yossi Godovitch of the David Yellin College of Education. Last week, the Earth Sciences program seminar was opened in the Institute’s laboratory, where the fresh competition winners gave lectures. In particular, they identified phenomena that caused the collapse of the Mediterranean cliffs along Israel’s coasts due to global warming.
Dr. Liat Ben-David, CEO of the Davidson Institute of Science Education said, “The Davidson Institute leads the way in learning that drives curiosity, discovery, and engagement with the environment, which in turn is the foundation for excellence in this field. We have been blessed with inspiring young people, and their success is our hope.”