Iran is one of the leaders in teaching basic nanotechnology to students, and many countries have modeled its programs and educational system on K-12 education level. The Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Student Olympiad is of paramount importance in this country.
Student competitions in other countries are held with a specific training plan or one-week training camps for laboratory activities. However, the distinguishing feature of the Iranian Olympiad is a decent combination of simultaneous competition in theoretical and practical stages that address the main issues in nanoscience and nanotechnology.
180,000 students have been participated in the ten previous Olympiads, and the final winners with gold, silver, and bronze medals have been introduced considering the results of both theoretical tests and practical activities.
The first stage of the 11th Olympiad was held online for the first time in September 2020 with the participation of around 10,000 students, following the health guidelines regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.The NanoClub, which is in charge of promoting and educating students, has taken several measures to train the volunteers of this stage, such as holding virtual classes and workshops, writing general and specialized articles, uploading them on the NanoClub website, and conducting practice tests.
The winners of the first stage of the Olympiad will compete in a written exam in October 2020, and the finalists will advance to the next stage or the scientific-research camp. The main parts of this camp include the followings:
- Carrying out applied experiments in the field of nanotechnology along with conducting scientific tests in the laboratory environment;
- Holding workshops on characterization, creativity, and solution making;
- Visiting companies active in the field of nanotechnology;
- Teaching the method of presenting research achievement, preparing work reports, and writing scientific articles;
- Holding a written exam at the end of the course;
- Oral presentation of the activities performed during the course in the presence of judges.
Guiding and supporting the winners of the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Student Olympiad is one of the long-term programs of the Iran Nanotechnology Innovation Council to guarantee the future of human resources in the field.