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Dare to be Curious: Biggest Student Science Festival in Estonia

Curiosity is the driving force of discoveries and research. To inspire youth to discover the wonderful world of science and research, the Estonian Research Council (ETAG) held a national Student Researcher's Festival on 12 and 13 April.

In preparation for the event, the campaign ‘Dare to be curious!’ encouraged students to share and vote exciting and mind-blowing science facts on social media, such as “Did you know that there are more trees on Earth than stars in our galaxy?” or “Did you know that our stomachs can even dissolve razor blades?”

With the campaign, the Estonian Research Council (ETAG) reached more than 800,000 people (the population of Estonia is 1.3 million), and it can genuinely say that the love for science was brought to an impressive amount of public. The curiosity and interest in science were made approachable and exciting to youngsters.

Together with our partners, ETAG created the biggest student festival of the year with more than 2,000 participants all over Estonia. In two days, it held almost 30 workshops, heard 13 inspiring presentations, had a science fair and a seminar for student researchers' supervisors. But most importantly, it hosted 83 of the best student research projects in Estonia. Within two days, students presented their research work and methods to the national jury and visitors. By doing that, students had an excellent opportunity to get the experience of explaining their work to a broader audience. On the other hand, visitors had a unique opportunity to get ideas and motivation to start their research projects or discover the wonderful world of science more thoroughly.

The level of student science projects is quite impressive - for example, a work that studied heredity in the development of schizophrenia, the creation of 3D models with photogrammetry, a study of the condition of a restored wooded meadow after restoration and its analysis, and many more. The best research projects will be representing Estonia at several international competitions and festivals. In previous years, Estonian students have also been successful at international level - in 2021, its students won three special awards.

Dare to be curious! By doing this, we are changing the world.

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