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Michal Lajčiak sa stal víťazom najprestížnejšej projektovej súťaže pre stredoškolákov Regeneron ISEF 2024

SAS scientific talent of AMAVET winner of the world competition in the USA

22. 5. 2024 | 680 visits

Michal Lajčiak, a student at the Secondary Technical School in Dubnica nad Váhom, became the winner of the most prestigious project competition for high school students, Regeneron ISEF 2024 (Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair 2024), which took place from May 11-17, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. He travelled to the United States thanks to the support of the SAS as one of the three laureates of the SAS Scientific Talent Award, which was awarded to him during the finals of the AMAVET Festival of Science and Technology in November last year.

1699 students from 67 countries from all over the world took part in the ISEF 2024 world competition. Michal Lajčiak succeeded in the Robotics and Intelligent Machines category. His winning project was called "Swarm Robotics Control System Design". The ISEF competition has a long tradition and has motivated many now distinguished scientists to pursue a scientific career. For example, the American Kip Thorne, who later won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017, also won at ISEF in 1958.

"Participating in the ISEF competition was a great experience. I got to know a lot of wonderful people from different countries and cultures who have a similar mindset as me, but it was also amazing opportunity to present my project in a foreign language in front of a world evaluation committee, which is a great experience for the future. One of the best things was the applause after the evaluation when we left the hall surrounded by people (teachers, mentors, volunteers) who cheered us and that was an absolutely gorgeous feeling.  As for the tourist experiences, I was most interested in Universal Studios, where we went directly from the competition. It was a great way to relax at various attractions after the evaluation. However, there were many, many experiences and it is not possible to mention them all, but I was also surprised by the evaluation and how kindly and positively the evaluators approached the individual projects. But the best experience was the win. Winning at ISEF is a dream come true for me, but also a goal that I set for myself before the preparation. There are new opportunities opening up for me now, where to move forward next, either in the form of studies or developing the project further into the business sphere. Overall, I think that my win is proof that working on something that makes sense is worth it and you have to hold on until the expected result arrives," says the successful scientific talent Michal Lajčiak.

Other Slovak representatives in the competition were Alex Kanderka and Jozef Jabczun of AMAVET Club 957 at St. Nicholas High School in Prešov. At the event, they presented their project in the Environmental Engineering (ENEV) category. Even though they did not rank, they gained a lot of experiences to last a lifetime.

"ISEF was really great. I met a number of nice and competent people. I also received important feedback on my project. The trip to Universal Studios was interesting. We saw all of the attractions there and even had a meal for free. I would definitely go again," said Jozef Jabczun.

Alex Kanderka also expressed his feelings about the event: "It is very difficult to choose only one thing because one experiences a lot in a week surrounded by almost 1700 participants from 67 countries! However, participating in ISEF convinced me of one important point - doing science has a profound meaning. Science has no borders, it unites people, scientists from different backgrounds, nationalities and cultures, even people with completely different opinions and attitudes, who might otherwise never find a way to mutual understanding. But scientific knowledge creates a space where this diversity does not lead to disputes, on the contrary, it helps to find unique solutions to the problems that worry humanity and contributes to a sustainable future. The best experience for me was probably when we left the hall on Wednesday after the difficult evaluation and a crowd of hundreds of teachers, parents, volunteers and other participants were waiting for us, and gave us a huge round of applause. It was a form of a thank you not only for the accomplishment that day, but especially for several years of efforts to advance scientific knowledge in our fields. We left the Los Angeles Convention Center like real Hollywood stars and moved to the Universal Studios theme park, where a varied program was already waiting for us," said the talented high school student.

Our representatives were accompanied by Marián Babinčák, an external associate of AMAVET and a member of the expert evaluation committee at the AMAVET Science and Technology Festival, Senior Scientist at RICB DIAGNOSTICS AG, Switzerland. The victory of a student from Slovakia at the world's largest and most prestigious competition for high school students is considered by Regeneron ISEF to be a huge success. “As an evaluator, I can say that the projects, as well as the evaluation at the AMAVET Slovak Festival of Science and Technology, certainly reach an international level. A huge thank you goes to all the teachers, mentors, members of the evaluation committee, but also to the partners, who with their energy and time help (not only) our winners grow, be successful and thus represent AMAVET, their school and Slovakia. Michal's success can be seen as an encouragement, empowerment and proof for everyone, teachers and students alike, that work makes sense," emphasized M. Babinčák.


Edited: Katarína Gáliková

Source: Ján Nemec, AMAVET

Foto: Katarína Gáliková, AMAVET

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