This year's participation of over 500 students from all over the country is a record for the MEDEA project. This 7th edition of MEDEA, an initiative of REN and the Portuguese Physics Society, will have the highest ever number of registered teams, about 100, which is more than double last year's figure. The teams this year will be representing 57 Portuguese schools.
These figures are, according to Maria José Ribeiro Gomes, the coordinator of MEDEA, 'excellent news for they clearly demonstrate the growing interest MEDEA has sparked over the years in schools, students and teachers. One of MEDEA's most important objective is to demystify the puzzles about the electromagnetic fields, challenging participants to make experimental measurements in their everyday life with rigorous scientific interpretation. And these measurements, projects and actions are an excellent way to pass on scientific information to society.'
The MEDEA project is a joint initiative of the Portuguese Physics Society and REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais, designed to promote knowledge of physics among Portuguese youth and society at large. MEDEA, set up in 2008, is directed at secondary education and university students. It enables the practical application of the lessons taught in the classroom, combining scientific knowledge with the everyday lives of students through the demonstrations and experiments they conduct, inside and outside the classroom.
Participating schools receive an electric and magnetic field measuring device for very low frequencies to be used while carrying out the project. Each team creates a web page exclusively dedicated to the MEDEA project where they present all the results obtained, the research carried out and other information relevant to the project. The teams that produce the best works will be awarded.