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International Earth Science Olympiad (IESO) 2022: German National Team Field Investigation at the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research (IOW)

The International Earth Science Olympiad (IESO) is an annual competion for secondary school students. It provides them to compete not only individually, but also in team quests, such as Earth Systems Projects (ESP) and International Team Field Investigation (ITFI). In 2022, the ITFI was carried out on a national level, and presented online by the national teams. Nir Orion (Weizmann Institute for Science Education, Israel), member of the IESO Examination Board about the task:

“A Field Investigation is a mini-study pertaining to a concrete Earth system phenomenon in a field site that combines limited and short field and laboratory studies. The study should relate to a focused research question, in terms of time and scope, that can be answered in a mini-study of 1-3 days of field observation, data collection and laboratory analysis. Criteria for the selection of the studied phenomena:

Relate to a real and relevant environmental Earth system-based phenomenon. Data collection includes the use of up to date field instruments and lab measurements. A long-term data set may be provided to students following the one-time measurements at the field site.”

The success secret depends on the ability and possibility of mentors to collaborate with an academic research lab. The IOW invited the German national team to work on Glyphosat, which due to a newly invented analytical method, was detected in the Baltic Sea. We will describe chances and challenges, that a geoscience research institutes faces associated with the organisation of a Team Field Investigation project for school students.


Sven Hille1, Sylke Hlawatsch2, Marion Kanwischer1, Una Reck1
1Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde; 2Richard-Hallmann-Schule, Germany
GeoMinKöln 2022