High school students tried out what it's like to be a scientist

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In this year's VYDRA course, the organizers prepared open-solution tasks for students, focusing on general approaches used to solve research tasks. The final meeting took place in the premises of the Institute of Physics on November 1, when the students tried a presentation of the results, including a model scientific discussion.

Tasks in VYDRA are chosen so that it is possible to experiment in home conditions, and the participants should be able to manage with just ordinary tools such as a ruler and a stopwatch. Thanks to the involvement of a large number of participants, the results of their homework were used and the influence of a large number of parameters in solving tasks was mapped. The inspiration for the assignment was this year's Young Physicists Tournament (9 - Oscillating Screw, 12 - Rice Bell, 17 - Escape Lane https://tmf.fzu.cz/tasks.php). 

In the courses, students were introduced to how data can be generally analysed, processed, displayed and results presented. VYDRA participants will be able to use the acquired experience in any other research activities, such as High School Science Competition (SVOČ), in solving the tasks of the Young Physicists Tournament, or in student internships at academic institutions. The students also got to know the results of two internships of the Open Science programme.

Courses VYDRA (in Czech the abbreviation stands for Excursions to Real Scientific Work in Physics) support young people's interest in science. The specific aim of the project is to introduce students to the basic principles of real scientific work, focusing on the possibility for students to try to solve a small research task in the whole range of activities, i.e. from the preparation of the experiment, through the measurement itself, subsequent data processing, discussion and interpretation of the results, to the final presentation of the results. In the courses we also traditionally visited a number of laboratories of the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering of the Czech Technical University.