Emotion gripped the auditorium of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), as 50 students received gold medals from the National Science Olympiad (ONC). The event, supported by MCTI, achieved a record number of participants in 2023: more than 4 million registered. The students are from primary and secondary schools.
At the ceremony, Minister Luciana Santos advocated encouraging young people to participate in science. “Science needs to respond to the daily challenges faced by the Brazilian population, from hunger to the satellite. In order to ensure these solutions in a country still plagued by inequality, we need to confront unacceptable denial.
The United Nations, through the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), awarded five awards to outstanding girls in each region of Brazil. “Such awards can help to continue studying,” noted UNFPA representative Junia Quiroga.
Student João Victor Meneses, in the ninth year of primary school in Ceará, had already won a gold medal in the state phase of the competition and has now won a new medal at the ONC. “It is a very big feeling. Everything that my family and my school invested in me was not an expense; it was an investment,” celebrated João Victor, who was also chosen among the five students in the country to visit the Alcantara Space Center (CEA), in Maranhão, the school ship of the University Maranhão Federal Republic (UFMA), in May 2024.
“It is a great achievement that you have been able to reach here. The schools must be congratulated for the good work they have done, as well as the family, which is also the most supportive,” congratulated Jean Catabreta, from the Federal University of Piaui (UFPI), the organizer of the event.
MCTI Minister of Science and Technology for Social Development, Iñácio Arruda, highlighted the role of teachers in holding the Olympic Games. “Teachers are great motivators, calling students and mobilizing them into the classroom, encouraging them to participate in the good, healthy fight that is competition.”
In addition to the United Nations, Petrobras is also participating in the project, along with the Brazilian Chemistry Society, the Butanta Institute, the Brazilian Astronomical Society, the Brazilian Physical Society, and the History Department of UniCamp.
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