China Adolescents Science and Technology Innovation Contest (CASTIC) on iga-aastane teadusprojektide võistlus, mida peetakse Hiinas. Konkursi kohta leiab rohkem infot nende veebilehelt: http://www.cyscc.org.cn/
2019. aastal toimus CASTIC juulikuus (20.07-26.07) Macau’s ning Eestist võtsid võistlusest osa Andreas Must, kes kevadel lõpetas Tallinna Reaalkooli tegi oma uurimistöö teemal „Üldfosfori ja nitraatlämmastiku sisalduse spektrofotomeetriline määramine Tallinna lahe rannikuvees“. Teema vaatles lähemalt Tallinna lahe halva keskkonnaseisundi (eeskätt halb lõhn) põhjuseid. Uuringud on näidanud, et lõhna põhjustajaks on rannikul roiskuvad vetikavallid ja vetikate massilist vohamist põhjustab eutrofeerumine. Viimastel aastatel on arvatud, et kõrgeid toitainetesisaldusi põhjustavad sademevee kollektorid. Siiski on senimaani tehtud vähe uuringuid, mis käsitleksid Tallinna lahe toitainete (näiteks fosfori ja lämmastiku) sisaldust. Sedalaadi uuringu Andreas läbi viiski.
Teise konkursil osalenud õpilase Carmen Piirsalu (lõpetas kevadel Tartu Tamme Gümnaasiumi) töö kandis pealkirja „LCT geeni positsioonis -13910C>T toimunud SNP esinemissagedus Tartu Tamme Gümnaasiumi 11. ja 12. loodus- ja meditsiiniklassi õpilaste hulgas ning nimetatud õpilaste teadmised hüpolaktaasia olemusest ja seosest geneetikaga.“ Carmeni uurimistöö võimaldas määrata geenitehnoloogiliste katsetulemuste põhjal hüpolaktaasia genotüübi (CC) esinemissagedust Tartu Tamme Gümnaasiumi 11. ja 12. loodus- ja meditsiiniklassi õpilaste hulgas (s.o valim). Uurimistöö tulemused kinnitasid, et LCT geeni positsioonis -13910 asuva geenialleeli C (põhjustab laktoosi imendumishäireid) ligikaudu 50%ne kadumine/asendumine populatsioonis on märk evolutsiooniliselt ebasoodsa teguri hääbumisest. Hüpolaktaasia kui toitumisega seotud geneetilise muutlikkuse uurimine on oluline inimese tervise, enesetunde ja teadlikkuse parandamiseks. Uurimistöö tulemused selgitasid nii mõnegi ainevahetushäirest mitte-teadliku õpilase vaevuste põhjuseid piimatoodete tarbimisel.
2019. aastal osales CASTIC’ul üle 400 Hiinast pärit õpilase, lisaks osales 224 õpilast ligi 300 projektiga 52 riigist ja territooriumilt. Võistlus käis 13 eri teadusvaldkonnas. Võistluse muutis huvitavaks tööde lai ampluaa ning väga paljude praktilisemat laadi tööde esitlemine. Lisaks oli näitusel väljas palju algklasside õpilaste projekte. Hiinas tundus just noorema vanuserühma seas olevat väga populaarseks uurimisteemaks kõik liiklusega seonduv. Samuti oli uurimistöid, mis seotud hiina meditsiini valdkonnaga.
Ülevaate reisist ja konkursist leiab õpilaste kirjutisest:
Andreas Must and Carmen Piirsalu:
Our Macau adventure started at the moment when we finally boarded onto TurboJet ferry bound for Macau. The first sign of Macau and its Portuguese history was a safety demonstration, which was in addition to Chinese and English also in Portuguese. Meeting the Portuguese language in China was a bit unexpected but also interesting. Despite the foggy weather we still saw the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, which seemed enormous. Later it turned out that the bridge was one of the four symbols depicted in CASTIC 2019 logo.
We did not know much about Macau. We had only heard that Macau is a Special Administrative Region of China, which is famous for its Portuguese heritage and casinos. However, when our ferry arrived at the harbour, we were stunned. Macau was covered with bright and colourful lights. By the time we arrived the sun had already set, so casino lights were especially shiny. No one of us did not expect such a sight.
After a thorough investigation of our passports, we finally cleared passport control and customs. The volunteers of CASTIC 2019 were already waiting for us. After a brief introduction, we sat on a bus and drove to the University of Macau’s newly built campus. The campus itself was not located on Taipa island, but instead, it was in a land, which used to be under a Mainland China’s administration but was leased to the Macau Special Administrative Region. Thanks to that, the campus is quite large and spacious, but there were some differences compared to other university campuses around the world. Firstly, the only way in and out was through an underwater tunnel, which connects the campus with Macau. Secondly, the campus is surrounded by a border wall. Despite those circumstances, the campus had everything on sites, such as a department store, restaurants and sporting facilities. In our residential college, we received instructions and materials for the upcoming days.
The next morning started with a bus transfer to CASTIC poster session venue for a project set-up. It was located in one of The Venetian hotel’s huge expo halls. There we saw the sheer size of the event. There were a lot of contestants and many of them brought the equipment from their research project with them. Of course, due to our long journey, we could not bring any equipment with us. After we had successfully put our posters up and passed the security check, we headed back to the campus for the rehearsal of the opening ceremony at the sports hall. There we had a quick briefing about the format of the next day’s opening ceremony and practised our movements on stage. Additionally, every country (and for competitors from China every province) had to design a poster with the name of the country/province on it, so that could be shown when the delegations were introduced.
The next day started with a grandiose and impressive opening ceremony. The ceremony was opened by speeches from Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Secretary of China Association for Science and Technology Dr Huai Jinpeng and the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of Macau SAR Dr Alexis, Tam Chon Weng. After the speeches, the hosts of the ceremony introduced the delegations of CASTIC 2019 and delegates welcomed the event on stage.
After the ceremony, we headed for the poster venue, where the first poster exhibition for the VIP guests and the public was about to start. In addition to presenting our posters, we were able to talk with other competitors from different countries. The projects were remarkable and very interesting. However, there was an issue with the language barrier, because projects from China were only in Chinese, which made them for us difficult to understand. That same problem was with international projects because local visitors did not show much interest in research projects which were in English. However, for that reason, Carmen had a brief introduction to her work in Chinese as well. In the evening we had time to visit Taipa island with our team leader.
Tuesday was probably one of the most important days on our trip because on that day the judging sessions were held. Of course, we were a bit nervous and excited, because we had to present our research projects to judges and answer the questions in English. In total, we had seven judging sessions and we would like to point out that the judges were very professional and asked truly relevant questions. After the effort, we headed for the Young Scientists Mixer Event, where we had a great opportunity to meet other participants from different countries. In addition to international delegates, we talked with several delegates from across China. We exchanged souvenirs, took pictures and chatted about CASTIC event.
The last exhibition day of CASTIC went rather quietly. Like on the first exhibition day, the public came to see our projects but did not ask many questions. However, that allowed us to investigate each other’s projects even more thoroughly. Also, we had a chance to see around the Venetian hotel-resort and visit the famous shopping district, which replicates the streets from Venice. In the afternoon it was already time to take down our posters because the Special Awards Ceremony was scheduled for the evening. The Ceremony was quite fast-paced because there were a lot of categories. The main focus of special awards was on Chinese students’ projects, however, some international projects were also awarded. Our projects did not receive special awards. After the ceremony, there was a surprise for everyone – a colourful drone show in the night sky. That was a spectacular event that we had not seen before.
The last full day in Macau started with a sightseeing trip to Macau’s best-known sights. We were divided into buses and drove to Macau peninsula, where our first stop was the ruins of St. Paul’s church. There were a lot of tourists who all wanted to take photographs of the church. Also, we could visit a small museum with catholic artefacts. Probably the most interesting about the church was not the church itself but its location in Southern China. For us, the most challenging part of the tour was the weather, which was way hotter and more humid than in Estonia. When we walked back to our bus, we noticed an old Portuguese area cemetery. The next stop was Macau tower, where we stopped briefly for toilets, and after that headed for A-Ma temple, from which Macau has gotten its name. The visit was rather short because the temple was not very large and there were also a considerable number of tourists. Our team leader tried a durian ice cream, which was sold nearby the temple. Overall, the tour was rather short, however, Macau itself is quite small and there are not many places where you can visit with large tourist groups.
By the time we arrived back to our dormitory, it was almost time to get dressed because the Closing Ceremony was about to start. The ceremony was held in the same place where the Opening and Special Awards Ceremonies were held. The international and Chinese projects competed in different categories. Along with many others, we both received bronze medals. In addition to medal ceremony and speeches, talented Macau students showed their skills in various music and dance performances. And of course, after the ceremony, we took pictures with our new acquaintances from all over the world.
But that was not the end of our day. In the evening we headed by a bus to Macau peninsula, where we met a friend of Andreas’s form an international olympiad. She took us to a local restaurant, where we ate dim sum. The food was delicious. After that, we walked around the city centre and saw places that we could not before. We also tried the milk tea with bubbles, which is popular there. That was a nice end to our trip to Macau as well.
On the next day, we had time just for taking the bus for the harbour, where we boarded our ferry back to Hong Kong. Before our departure from Hong Kong, we had some time to see that city as well. In the evening, we got to the airport, boarded the plane and flew peacefully back to the home.
CASTIC 2018 – toimus Chongqingis ja esmakordselt osalesid seal ka eestlased. Eestit esindas CASTICul Hugo Treffneri Gümnaasiumi õpilane Joosep Kaimre tööga „Toatemperatuurse fosforestsentsisüsteemi valmistamine ja iseloomustamine“.