New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Chemistry Summer Camp Běstvinka

Petr Holzhauser, University of Chemistry and Technology (Czech Republic)

Jan Havlík, University of Chemistry and Technology (Czech Republic)

Karolina Duschinská, University of Chemistry and Technology (Czech Republic)


The Chemistry Olympiad (ChO) is a chemistry competition for basic school pupils and secondary school students. It has an over 50 years long tradition in the Czech Republic and also the first International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) was held in Prague in 1968.

The summer camp Běstvina is focused on the best secondary school ChO participants (age 15-18) from regional rounds of competition. It is organized more than 30 years in cooperation with Biology Olympiad (young chemists and biologists are present together). The base camp is located in the heart of country and has a capacity of 120 children plus stuff. It has beautiful surroundings including forests, pond, river, dam and rocky hills. It allows combine the common summer free-time and sport activities with informal science education.

The scientific program includes 2 obligatory chemistry focused lectures per day, the volunteer evening lectures on interesting topics and 3 lab exercises. Education is lead at the informal level with the components of cooperative and experience based teaching. Participants meet university students, teachers and scientists and get in touch with many branches of chemistry and interdisciplinary fields. The content is partly tailored to ChO tasks and it serves thus as a preparation for the next year ChO.

From 2014 it is organized a sister camp Běstvinka for basic school pupils (12-15). The idea was to attract younger children to chemistry and enhance their future interest in STEM fields. The concept is similar (a mixture of free-time and informal educational activities) but adapted to younger age of participants - the less number of shorter lectures, labs run in workshop style, more sport and games.

Both camps are very popular among youth and the major of participants become a very good university students. The summer camp Běstvinka already celebrates success since one of the first year participants was awarded with silver medal at IChO in 2016 in Georgia.

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