APT JSO – 6: Students make solar cells using natural ingredients

Monday - 17/07/2017 10:23

As a part of Asean Plus Three Junior Science Odyssey 6th (APT JSO – 6) activities, 120 students from 13 countries (9 Asean + Sweden, Taiwan, Korea and China) have participated in a competition where they are asked to use natural ingredients collected from red cabbage, water spinach and mulberry to create a Gratzel solar cell. 
 

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Scientific competition
Asean Plus Three Junior Science Odyssey 6th (APT JSO – 6)


In the afternoon 12th July 2017, USTH proudly greeted 120 students who are young talented scientists at the age of 13 – 15, and teachers from 13 countries to participate in a scientific competition as part of the APT JSO – 6.

With the theme “Renewable energy for life”, the competition was divided into 3 sessions: Biology, Chemistry and Physics in which students extracted natural dyes (compound absorb solar light) from red cabbage, water spinach and mulberry (Biology part), used these dyes to make Gratzel solar cell (Chemistry part), and then assayed the solar energy conversion performance of these solar cells in compared with that of commercial available Si solar cell (Physics part).

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Scientific competition
Asean Plus Three Junior Science Odyssey 6th (APT JSO – 6)


Students were allocated to 28 teams whose have 3 members in each team. Each team was supported by one instructor and each laboratory has at least 3 jury members, in which, each member is expert in one field of science.

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Scientific competition
Asean Plus Three Junior Science Odyssey 6th (APT JSO – 6)


This year, the competition is designed with the aim of encouraging the students to have an overview of all three subjects Biology, Chemistry and Physics so they can solve problems in reality using appropriate knowledge. For example, the Biology assessment asked students to collect natural dyes from red cabbage, mulberry and water spinach. Then in the Chemistry assessment, they would decide which dyes could generate better solar cells and make these cells. Later in the Physics assessment, the students measured and compared the efficiency of their handmade solar cells with silicone solar cell provided. As a result, the students understand how to convert solar energy into electricity as well as know strengths and weaknesses of Gratzel solar cell and silicone solar cell.

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Scientific competition
Asean Plus Three Junior Science Odyssey 6th (APT JSO – 6)


Dr. Tran Dinh Phong – co-Director, Department of Advanced Materials Science and Nanotechnology-USTH, a jury member of Chemistry competition said: “We aim to make APT JSO – 6 as a wake-up call for young students to start to pay attention to the energy and environmental issues. These are urgent matters which have been discussed in international conferences. With developing countries like Vietnam, we need cost effective solutions, using cheap materials and advanced technology to make renewable energy. Having a broad knowledge of all aspects of natural sciences is essential and this knowledge base needs to be frequently supplemented and updated.

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Scientific competition
Asean Plus Three Junior Science Odyssey 6th (APT JSO – 6)


The aim of the competition is in line with the goal of interdisciplinary training programs of USTH in which students must have a breadth of knowledge across 3 subject areas: Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

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Education conference: “Promote STEM to young students by renewable energy applications”.
Asean Plus Three Junior Science Odyssey 6th (APT JSO – 6)


In the meantime teachers joined an education conference in which they have shared and discussed handouts, documents with regards to the theme “Promote STEM to young students by renewable energy applications”.

The organizers of the APT JSO – 6 hope this event makes the young generation more aware of problems with fossil fuels as well as potentials from the use of renewable energy, especially solar energy. After this event, the students will continue to pursue their passion for scientific research and applications.