Despite all the troubles caused by the Corona pandemic, this year’s SwissChO started as usual with a remote first round. We are pleased to have had a huge number of participating students who did not let their interest in Chemistry be damped by the current circumstances. We were and are working hard on providing them as much normality and fun with chemistry as in other years.
Girl with red hat via unsplah
Out of 406 participants, 56 (8 thereof from Liechtenstein) passed to the second round and were invited to a preparatory “weekend” at University of Basel. Due to the restrictions, the event was conducted digitally on two Saturdays (28th of November and 5th of December). Despite this format we were pleased to welcome respectively 28 and 23 students on these days. The students could enjoy various lectures on topics like organic chemistry, fundamental concepts of physical chemistry, electrochemistry or NMR spectroscopy given by lecturers from the University of Basel. Regular breaks in the zoom calls allowed students to chat with each other and socialize. Based on the feedback of the students, we conclude that this year’s Basel weekend was a great success. Nevertheless we are looking forward to being able to conduct next year’s event in person (hopefully).
Well prepared from the Basel weekend, our students headed towards the central exam, which took place on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th of January in cooperation with the University of Bern. Students profited from some more teaching given by our volunteers on Friday and then showed their knowledge in the exam on Saturday. Unfortunately, this event needed to be held remotely as well. All the more excited are we to say that the traditional Lausanne lab weekend could be hold in person and allowed 16 out of 18 qualified students to practice their lab skills.
We would like to thank the University of Bern and Basel for their hospitality and their scientists for volunteering and teaching for SwissChO.