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Student teams successful in global natural history contest in Chongqing

Lao student teams have excelled at the Global Natural History Day Contest (GNHD) and Lao winners have received various prizes, including one silver medal and three bronze medals.

Held on July 19 to 25 in Chongqing, China, this is the third year that Lao schoolchildren have attended the GNHD contest.

The GNHD organised by the Global Health and Education Foundation, according to Ministry of Education and Sports.

A group photo of Lao student teams during the Global Natural History Day Contest in Chongqing, China.

The GNHD is a well-rounded programme for elementary school to high school students, with the aim of inspiring young people to take an active role in preserving the planet's environment and wildlife.

The contest was created to inspire students to conduct original historical research. Since its creation, the contest has grown to an international competition.

The top four teams with eight students of Laos took part in the contest this year and received various prizes including one silver medal and three bronze medals.

According to the Ministry of Education and Sports, a total of 108 teams with 241 students from Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Macao, South Africa and the United States of America took part in the Natural History Day Contest this year. This year's topic related to the theme ‘Scale of Nature: Micro to Macro'.

The nation winners have received a certificate and gold medal for first prize, a certificate and silver medal for second prize, and certificate and bronze medal for third prize.

In 2016, some 97 teams from Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia and the United States of America took part in the Natural History Day Contest in Shanghai, China.

The 2016 theme related to ‘Explorations, encounters, and exchanges in history'. Lao student teams excelled at the contest, winning a gold medal, a silver medal and two bronze medals.

This year, the successful Lao student teams were Ms Mala Phommasone and Mr Elisa Sisengchanh from Phonesavanh High School in Champassak province. They won a silver medal for their successful presentation titled ‘Acacia'.

Meanwhile, successful Lao student teams who won bronze medals were Ms Souphansa Khinsamone and Mr Thitthiphone Olin come from Thakhek Secondary School in Khammuan province with their work ‘Amazing energy of firefly'.

Ms Mookdavanh Keodavanh and Mr Bounlom Leuadam come from Lathkhai Secondary School in Xieng Khuang province won a bronze medal with ‘Plums and economics in our village'.

Ms Shengkhin Saetern and Ms Nidthida Keosengthit from Xayaboury Secondary School in Xayaboury province won under their title ‘The important role of dragonfly to the world'.

One of the winners in this year's contest, Ms Mala Phommasone gave interview with Vientiane Times after coming back to Laos.

“The top four final teams, including my team, competed with 85 other teams from the capital and other provinces of Xieng Khuang, Xayaboury, Khammuan, Savannakhet and Champassak, before we were selected to attend the contest,” she said.

“My team presented title ‘Acacia' in the GNHD contest and won a silver medal prize. We selected this title because of we would like to highlight the important of Acacia to the globe.”

Ms Mala highlighted that Acacia was a local vegetable of Laos that exists a lot and is naturally grown, especially around farms and rice fields. It can grow everywhere from north to the south of Laos.

Acacia is a fast growing plant that is a popular in traditional Lao food by using the seeds and fresh shoots from the tree top tips.

It can be planted as a fence and can be eaten, while the leaves can ferment into bio fertiliser by using bio-fermented water because they are full of nitrogen and potassium.

The wood can produce paper and dry seeds can produce jewelry as well as feed animals. The leaves can produce furniture and households goods.

Ms Mala's team said they studied this plant because it had many benefits if people used it correctly, whether it was environmental restoration or reducing unnecessary deforestation. Acacia can be an alternative to crops and it grows quickly, is easy to plant and does not need too much maintenance.

GNHD sets teams of aspiring young leaders to work identifying problems and generating solutions to environment-related issues under a yearly theme with the guidance of a mentor.

The first GNHD began in 2012 with 288 student teams and since then the programme has continued to grow, with more students from a growing list of cities and countries participating each year.


By Keoviengkhone Bounviseth
(Latest Update August 12 , 2017 )

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