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Germany hosts the 2020 International Junior Science Olympiad

January 6th, 2020

The Olympic IJSO flag is on its way to Frankfurt Main, the venue of the next International Junior Science Olympiad

The successful German IJSO student team was not the only one to set off for the International Junior Science Olympiad in Qatar in December. Representatives from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Hessian Ministry of Education and the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN) also made the journey to winter-warm Doha. They presented Germany as the next host of the event in their capacity as sponsors and organizers.

Some 300 students from all over the world and their 200 mentors are expected to visit Frankfurt am Main from December 2nd - 12th, 2020. The promotional film for the IJSO 2020 with Ralph Caspers was enthusiastically received by the international audience.

Preparations for the event are already in full swing at the IPN. In April 2019, the "Scientific Committee" was formed. It is working hard to prepare the exam program, which consists of two demanding theoretical and one experimental exam. The special feature of the program is that it combines contents from biology, chemistry and physics. Apart from individual performance, teamwork is of great importance when the experimental skills are demonstrated in groups of three.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier is the patron of the eleven-day event, which aims to bring the 300 brightest minds from 50 nations to interact. The students, up to 15 years of age, also have hopes that they could help to master some of the current global challenges as future leaders. In addition, they will have numerous opportunities in and around Frankfurt to make new contacts, gain in-depth impressions of the country and its people and broaden their own horizons.

In a symbolic act, department head Kornelia Haugg (Federal Ministry of Education and Research), Brigitte Hirschler, consultant for foundations and competitions at the Hessian Ministry of Culture, and Prof. Dr. Olaf Köller, the IPN's Scientific Managing Director, were ceremonially presented with the IJSO flag at the closing ceremony in Doha. PD Dr. Heide Peters (IPN), "Chair of IJSO 2020 Germany" and longstanding Vice President of the IJSO for Europe, looks to the future: "Next year we will be the hosts of the international competition. We are very much looking forward to this honorable task and will do our best to welcome the young talents and their mentors to Frankfurt am Main".


The International JuniorScienceOlympiad - IJSO for short - fosters young people in the STEM field starting in Grade 5. It is a nationwide school competition in four rounds and is one of the six ScienceOlympiads supervised by the IPN. The competition is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the state education authorities. The competition tasks are interdisciplinary and make science tangible in everyday life.

The best six students of the IJSO qualify for the national team. They are chosen in September at the IJSO's national finals and travel to the International Junior Science Olympiad at the beginning of December. The students will be accompanied and trained by a team of supervisors from the IPN in Kiel, the organizer of the IJSO Germany. At the international final, held in a different country each year, student delegations from up to seventy nations around the world meet and compete for gold, silver and bronze. This year's IJSO is taking place in Germany for the first time.