Viksu winners announced:
Studies on the Swedish language and animal rights rhetorics winners in the Academy’s 2011 science competition
March 30, 2012
The winners of the Academy of Finland’s science competition for senior secondary students (known simply as Viksu) have been announced. The 1st prize in Viksu’s national category went to Miro Metsämuuronen (Lappeenrannan Lyseon lukio) for his excellent entry in the field of linguistics. The entry earned high praise for its level of creativity and intrepidness: the reviewers noted it opens up a whole new perspective to irregular verb conjugation in contemporary Swedish. Winner in the international category was Laura Lamberg (Tikkurilan lukio), with an ambitious entry in the field of literature. The reviewers said the author has produced a compelling, insightful and expertly written entry. Both winners will be awarded 4,000 euros.
This was the fourteenth year of the Academy of Finland’s science competition Viksu. The competition provides students with an opportunity to test their skills in doing scientific research. Students can enter the competition by preparing a study in any subject taught at upper secondary schools.
The Viksu winners will receive their prizes from Mr Jukka Gustafsson, Minister of Education and Science, and Professor Heikki Mannila, President of the Academy of Finland, at an award ceremony on Friday, 30 March 2012 at 15.00. Awards will be presented to a total of 15 students, six schools and one teacher. The total prize money is 30,000 euros.
Winners in the national category
1st prize: Miro Metsämuuronen (19) from Lappeenrannan Lyseon lukio upper secondary school. Miro investigated the morphology of verbal ablaut in contemporary standard Swedish.
2nd prize: Hanna Walsh (17) from Oulun Lyseon lukio upper secondary school. Hanna studied the resistance to turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) in Chinese cabbage.
3rd prize: Sofia Oesch (18) from Lahden yhteiskoulu upper secondary school. Sofia looked at the position of women and their employment opportunities at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries by investigating the life of Hanna Asp, the 16th Finnish woman to take the matriculation exam.
4th prize: Ossi Hirvola (17) and Henri Kumpulainen (17) from Valkeakosken Tietotien lukio/Päivölän matematiikkalinja. Ossi and Henri developed an algorithm for synthetic game music and used it to programme a game music generator.
5th prize: Niko Ilomäki (18) from Helsingin matematiikkalukio upper secondary school. Niko studied changes in the political party landscape through mathematical models.
6th prize: Meri Vainio (17) from Valkeakosken Tietotien lukio/Päivölän matematiikkalinja. Meri analysed the effects of using symbolic/CAS calculators in the matriculation exam mathematics test based on the advanced course.
7th prize: Julia Hämäläinen (18) from Kuopion klassillinen lukio upper secondary school. Julia studied the use and utilisation of social media in small and medium-sized enterprises.
Winners in the international category
1st prize: Laura Lamberg (18) from Tikkurilan lukio upper secondary school. Laura investigated the argumentation and rhetorics concerning animal rights and justifications for meat-eating.
2nd prize: Tetta Hämäläinen (19) from Jyväskylän Lyseon lukio upper secondary school. Tetta studied the reliability and validity of the Rorschach inkblot test and the Thematic Apperception Test in the assessment of psychopathy.
3rd prize: Ville Syrjänen (18) from Helsingin Suomalainen Yhteiskoulu upper secondary school. Ville took on the dynamic shortest path problem and developed a new algorithm to solve it.
4th prize: Anne Lehtimäki (18) from Ressun lukio upper secondary school. Anne looked at the impact of biological factors on musicality.
5th prize: David Henderson (19) from Turun normaalikoulu upper secondary school. David explored the incidence of taxation for Valio vanilla ice cream among students in Turku.
6th prize: Wanmeng Zhang (17) from Helsingin Suomalainen Yhteiskoulu upper secondary school. Wanmeng analysed which printed electronic application would be the best focus for a new printed battery producer.
7th prize: Tuula Ritakari (19) from Etelä-Tapiolan lukio upper secondary school. Tuula examined whether the description of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev as “a petulant child playing with a loaded gun” is a correct assessment, or if Khrushchev had sound strategic reasons for provoking the US over Cuba in 1962.
Chemistry 2011 prize
The 2011 Viksu competition also included a special prize (1,000 euros) for the best entry in the field of chemistry. The Chemistry 2011 prize went to Laura Telenius (18) from Tampereen lyseon lukio upper secondary school. Laura studied the quality of the water in the Tahmela spring in Tampere.
Schools and teachers get prizes too
Prizes were also awarded to active and successful schools: Etelä-Tapiolan lukio, Kuopion klassillinen lukio, Lappeenrannan Lyseon lukio and Tampereen lyseon lukio. The schools were awarded 1,000 euros each. Helsingin uusi yhteiskoulu in Helsinki and Lyseonpuiston lukio in Rovaniemi received 750 euros each for active participation. Viksu also awards prizes to active teachers. This time, the 1,000 euros went to Maarit Berg, who teaches Finnish and literature at Tikkurilan lukio upper secondary school.
A glimpse into doing science
In the 2011 round of Viksu, the Academy received 116 competition entries from 32 upper secondary schools. A total of 127 students participated in the competition, including those submitting entries in pairs or groups. Viksu received entries from 80 girls and 47 boys. The majority of entries were in the Finnish language, literature, history, psychology, economics and chemistry. This time, the national category attracted 44 entries and the international category 72 entries. Half of the entries were written in Finnish, half in English.
Photos of the winners
Photographs (and a short video clip) of the winners, taken at the ceremony, are available from STT Info on 30 March from around 19.00.
Academy of Finland Communications
Communications Specialist Terhi Loukiainen
tel. +358 9 7748 8385, +358 40 828 1784