For the third consecutive year, a group of secondary school students, who had participated in the Malta Junior Science Olympiad, were awarded Go4Research summer internships at the Faculty of Science.
During the summer months, the students worked on a wide range of interesting projects under the supervision of researchers and other academic members of staff. The student projects spanned over a range of topics from marine biology, to quantum cats and technologies, electromagnetism, plant ecology, chemistry, insect studies and bee keeping, physical oceanography and statistics and operations research.
For the first time, the HSBC Malta Foundation sponsored the Project Poster Award. Mr Anton A. Gatt presented the awards to the two winning project posters by Amber Dimech, Amy Chircop, Emily Farrugia and Julia Scerri under the supervision of Dr Sandro Lanfranco, and Mia Gauci and Katryna Grech under the supervision of Prof. Aldo Drago, Dr Anthony Galea, Dr Adam Gauci and Ms Audrey Zammit.
A video clip highlighting the students’ experience was presented, followed by a panel discussion moderated by science communicator Danielle Martine Farrugia. Four students, Emily Farrugia, Julianne Vella, Katryna Grech and Mia Gauci, along with two researchers, Dr Fiona Sammut and Dr Adam Gauci made up the panel. The discussion focussed on the various skills and experiences acquired through the Go4Research internship programme participation.
Concluding addresses were delivered by US Chargé d’Affaires Mr Mark A. Schapiro and Pro-Rector of Research and Knowledge Transfer Prof. Inġ. Saviour Zammit. The Pro-Rector commended the students and emphasised that science is a fascinating discipline leading to highly rewarding careers irrespective of the stage at which one stops, be it at undergraduate or postgraduate level, if they decide to follow a course at the University of Malta.
Mr Schapiro emphasised that everyone should have equal opportunities to follow a STEM career, regardless of gender, race or background. Furthermore, this also has a very powerful economic basis, as a society and the world cannot realise its full potential unless it empowers all its members to participate.