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It was no easy task for the jury to find the winning team as some 40 students and teachers were gathered at a space science camp in Soroe, Denmark, for the regional semifinals of the Odysseus II contest. Eleven teams with members aged 15 to 19 years from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, England and Bulgaria were presenting space science projects in the Pioneers category of the contest.

Soroe Regional event 2017


The Soroe Regional winner pioneer was Team Magnetida from Varna School in Bulgaria with team members Katerina Samatovna Bakhtigaliyeva (15), Zdravko Milkov Slavov (17) and Feodor Svetlanov Konomaev (16). They presented a concept for a gravitational space telescope.

All the project presented here were very good. So we are really surprised and very happy to win,” said team member Katerina Samatovna Bakhtigaliyeva.

Exiting new ideas

The judges especially acknowledged that Team Magnetida was taking an exiting approach to space science with a concept for a hypothetical gravitational telescope using the Sun as a gravitational lens and for a very fine and dedicated presentation.
“This contest shows that we have a lot of space science talent in Europe. All projects were very well prepared and presented and it’s obvious that a lot of thoughts, good ideas and efforts have been into every contribution,” said project leader and communication responsible at DTU Space, Morten Garly Andersen.

The pan-European competition is aimed at young and talented students interested in space science. It is funded by EU’s Horizon 2020 program with The Danish National Space Institute, DTU Space, as the regional partner and organizer of this year’s Odysseus II semifinals for The Nordic countries, United Kingdom and Bulgaria. The event was held in cooperation with Science Talents at facility in Soroe.

Happy students and teachers

The teachers and adults assistants accompanying the young talents felt they went back home with new knowledge of space science and technology after attending the three day science camp and contest.

“This was an inspiring event, and both me and the members of the team from our school find it very useful,” said Brian Ovesen, headteacher at Frijsenborg Efterskole which had Team Maimar with Dagmar Bergholdt og Maiken Bak participating as one of the two Danish teams in the contest.

Apart from the competition there were space-related activities such as rocket-calculations, mini rocket construction and launch, the space science related movie Apollo 13 was shown on the big screen, and there were as a number of speeches and hands on activities by scientists from DTU Space and Science Talents.
Scientist and renown meteorite expert Henning Haack even brought some of the meteorites he has found over the years in Denmark and places as far as Antarctica and the Artic. He used them in his speech about the origin of our solar system.
“It’s been a fantastic and very exicting space science camp, and I would love to come back again,” concluded Alexander Brandal a participating student from Mandal Junior High School in Norway.