On February 22, the American University of Armenia hosted the first Tournament for Chemistry Students, a new project by the Ayb Educational Foundation that aims at the discovery of young talents in higher education. The objective of the student tournament is to promote interest towards chemistry among youth and to contribute to this science branch development in our country as well as to involve young specialists in various fields. The new tournament is the logical continuation of the All-Armenian Tournament of Young Chemists, which has been successfully held by the Foundation for 10 years in a row. It aims to reinforce its ties with science and a range of economy fields in our country.
Karin Markides, President of the American University of Armenia and a chemist by profession, who previously chaired the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Department at Uppsala University in Sweden, particularly welcomed Ayb’s initiative to hold the Tournament for Chemistry Students. “Owing to chemistry, you can see the world on a molecular level and understand how the molecules interact to create new things,” she said, addressing the young chemists in her opening speech. She encouraged everyone to not only love their profession but also maintain close contacts with one another.
In her welcome speech on the occasion of this ”chemical” holiday, Nina Hobosyan, the tournament coordinator, outlined that the tournament is a relevant opportunity for young people to test their knowledge in practice. As a result, it is expected that they will contribute to the field development with their new ideas. The coordinator introduced the procedures and rules of the contest, the participant teams and jury members. The tournament is a team contest where baccalaureate and MA students interested in chemistry display their abilities and skills to solve complex chemistry problems, plausibly present them and hold scientific debates. Five teams from different universities in Armenia participated in the tournament.
Converse Bank is the partner and supporter of the tournament. For three successive years, the Bank has assisted the Ayb Educational Foundation in the organization of the tournaments for chemists and promotion of chemistry studies. As Artur Nahapetyan, Business Development Director at Converse Bank, noted, the assistance to the tournament is another educational initiative being implemented in cooperation with the Ayb Educational Foundation within the scope of the corporate social responsibility program of Converse Bank. “Last year we sponsored the All-Armenian Tournament of Young Chemists and supported the participation of the national team in an international chemistry tournament. I am sure the new tournament will become one of the students’ most-awaited educational initiatives, contributing to an increased interest towards chemistry among students as well as to establishing contacts with their potential employers,” he said.
According to Sona Koshetsyan, Executive Director of the Ayb Educational Foundation, the tournament aims to expand the students’ involvement in science and industry as well as to establish student teams for the solution of technological problems. Wishing luck to the winner teams, the director of the Foundation said, “I hope that Ayb will succeed, through this new format, in reinforcing the cooperative links between the specialists and organizations, and will also help the students display innovative approaches and propose solutions for the current issues at various companies and organizations, apart from establishing a strong community of chemists.”
Renowned specialists in the chemistry field, and representatives of pharmaceutical and other organizations were among the attendees of the event. In their opinion, the tournament is an important platform to unlock the students’ potential and to implement new and innovative projects together with them.
The jury members are positive that the new tournament should be organized on a continuous basis, since it has proved efficient in bringing together chemists of all generations within the same platform and imparting new inspiration to chemistry specialists.