Fourth day of the IESO is marked by practical tests in areas of astronomy, meteorology and hydrology

Published: Friday, 18 September 2015



During the whole Thursday, 17/09, students from the 23 countries delegations participating in the ninth edition of the International Earth Science Olympiad (IESO) made the practice tests on the Moinho farm, rural zone of Poços de Caldas, as well as at Véu das Noivas waterfall, a famous landmark. In the first place, the activities were prepared based on the areas of astronomy, hydrological and meteorological.

As an Embrapa representative in the Olympics, the researcher Alfredo Barreto Luiz pointed out that "the main objective of the competition is the Olympic spirit, even more than the questions results." "The interaction between so many cultures provide many other types of learning, which goes beyond exams," he emphasized. For the Argentine observer Graciela Ligia Rastelino, "unfortunately this year my students are not participating." "The questions are made in a high level, once we have here the best and the most prepared competitors. It's very interesting this field work," she said.

Tests development

The participating countries were invited to draw up and suggest issues with a few months in advance to the Olympics. They were gathered by mentors to reach an agreement on what would be transformed and adapted to the evidence. Although the official language is English, another concern was the monitoring of students in the translation of that material, which in some cases has been produced in other languages such as French, for example, in order to be understood and then transcribed by competitors into English.

The student Kai-Hung Cheng, from Taiwan, said that "he has good expectations about the competition." "The Brazilian countryside is beautiful and very different from my country. I'm really enjoying it," he said. Leonard Schmih, from Germany, said that the experience has been very positive and that will help him in his personal life. In the professional area, he does not know yet, but he wants to study engineering or architecture. For Nicole Gica, IESO monitor voluntary and master's degree in culture and development, "the event works issues such as respect and mutual aid." "Although the students are very young, with ages between 15 and 17 years-old, they have a very strong sense of responsibility," she said.


The hydrology test were made in Ribeirão das Antas, which bisects Moinho farm. For Professor Thomaz Alvisi de Oliveira, a geographer of IFSULDEMINAS and one of the tests mentors, the activity consisted in measuring the flow of water (speed), based on a specific canal area. Participants had to use environmental perception ability, hydrology, and mathematical content. "I believe that the event does not bring riches only for them but also for us as teachers. For students, it's a chance to meet totally different things from those environments in which they live, understanding the dynamics of the planet in a best way ", he said.

The observer of the Republic of Malawi, Africa, Yvonne Chasukwa, said that "Brazil and its people are very interesting." "Although we do not have our country participating on the event, I'm adding a lot for my professional actions as a teacher in Malawi, where I work with geography." However, for a student of the United States, Rylee Wrenner, who is for the first time in Brazil, said that "Brazil is different from all the places that I have met and I am enjoying everything."


In the astronomy exam, the goal was to measure the angular velocity of the earth. "Students must measure the sun's shift, using a beam of light projected on the floor. From there, they need to calculate the speed of rotation of the planet", said the physics professor from Inconfidentes Campus, Marcelo Reis, who was the responsible for the activity. "The participants are students who any teacher wants to have, because of the motivation, commitment and preparation," he added.

Ruben Alcides Franco, a Paraguay observer, pointed out that "the level is great." "In my country, there is a lack of motivation for students. I believe that events like this are great to encourage them to leave the room, the theory, and acting in practice, which is much more interesting." Lior Fain, from Israel, highlighted that "there is a slight difference between them, but everyone is very good." "In the technical school that we have come, we have disciplines in the earth sciences areas. In addition, we made a specific preparatory course of five days," he said.


The Meteorology step was the responsibility of teachers Michelle Simões Reboita and Vanessa Silveira Carvalho Barreto, both professors of Atmospheric Sciences, from the Federal University of Itajubá. "In these tests, they used thermometers to measure the air humidity, both in the shade and in the sun. For the phenomenon of evaporation, it was used gauze moistened thermometers, simulating a more humid atmosphere to compute the relative humidity. In practice, these calculations are used to the weather forecast, based on atmospheric predictions, as well as agriculture and other practices," they said.

Jefferson Rocha Santos, student of the Federal Institute of Espírito Santo and a member of the Brazilian team, the expectations are good, despite the difficulties with the English language. "In practical test I think I did well, but I can not say the same of the theoretical one. But it was worth it! I will only bring good things for my state," he said. Activities also took place, at the same time, at Véu das Noivas waterfall, involving evidence of geology, where the task was coordinated by Professor Melina Mara de Souza, from IFSULDEMINAS - Campus Poços de Caldas.

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