Once again, Zaragoza hosted the XXVIII International Congress of Young Researchers, where young people from more than five different nationalities met to present their projects.
MONDAY 24TH JUNE.
We started the XXVIII International Congress of Young Researchers held in Zaragoza, from 24 to 28 June. It was a great day for everyone, but especially for the participants as they had many initial nerves from this new experience. Zaragoza was the meeting place for more than 50 young people from different countries such as France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Morocco, Bulgaria and Spain.
In the morning, the foreign delegations started to arrive and we went with them to the hotel where they were going to stay for 5 days. We visited the Plaza del Pilar, where the foreign and national delegations played games to get to know each other and create their first bonds of friendship.
When it was already dark, we had dinner around the Pilar. We found a place where most of the products were from Aragon, so the foreign delegations could enjoy our gastronomy.
But this had only just begun…
TUESDAY 25TH JUNE
The big day of the opening of the Congress was here! The president of the association Claudia Marín and the director of the Congress Alba Clavero accompanied by Carmen Errante (Councillor for Economy and Innovation of Employment) and Luis Miguel García Vinuesa (Councillor of the city council of Zaragoza), officially began this event in the Ibercaja Actur Foundation.
After the opening, some delegations showed their projects. It was a good experience for the speakers, as they grow professionally by exposing what they have worked on during the year and make others grow in the scientific field by expanding their knowledge.
Once the turn of lectures finished, we made a route by the warm Zaragoza visiting the most relevant monuments of the old town. We also saw the Aljafería on a guided tour.
This day ended with the international night, a dinner where the delegations of each country contribute with typical dishes of their regions, in this way we could also enrich ourselves gastronomically.
WEDNESDAY 26 JUNE
The second day of lectures began. During the whole morning and the beginning of the afternoon, the rest of the groups that were still to be presented showed their projects to the other speakers. This time, they were in the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Zaragoza.
Once finished, the University’s teaching staff showed us the research laboratories dedicated to Physics, Chemistry and Optics. It was striking for both adults and young people.
After this day as real “university students”, we had dinner and went to the hotel. After an intense day, we were all exhausted.
THURSDAY 27 JUNE
Without realizing it, it was already Thursday, and the week was coming to an end. We started with a gymkhana prepared by the organization, where the speakers had to overcome a series of challenges in which they had to get materials to build their own volcano.
In the end, the closing ceremony of this Congress began in the Faculty of Sciences, with the presence of the mayor of the city of Zaragoza Jorge Azcón, Luis Miguel García Vinuesa (city councillor of Zaragoza) and Adrián Gimeno (Managing Director of the Aragonese Youth Institute).
In the afternoon, we visited the EXPO in Zaragoza, specifically the Water Tower building, and then had some free time in the Puerto Venecia shopping centre, where dinner also took place.
The bus back to the hotel was waiting for us at 23:00, we had to sleep because the next day all the speakers had to overcome a hard journey back home. Another year of history for the ICIJA congress successfully overcame.
By Eduardo Garcia, Maria Barco and Alba Clavero