25 September 2019

Students from Escola Básica e Secundária da Povoação, in the Azores, honoured for a work on electromagnetic fields and health

A team of high-school students from Escola Básica e Secundária da Povoação, in the Azores, was the winner of the tenth edition of MEDEA, an initiative by REN and by Sociedade Portuguesa de Física (SPF) to promote knowledge of Physics among young Portuguese people and society in general.

Coordinated by teacher Nídia Fidalgo, the students André Pereira, Lucas Sousa, Eduardo Raposo, Júlia Silva, João Rocha, and Alexandre Sousa, of the Science and Technology course from Escola Básica e Secundária da Povoação, had the opportunity to present their project before an audience of classmates and teachers.

The team, named Novelãos Team, developed a scientific work that sought to identify and measure the low-frequency electromagnetic fields (EMF) that surround us. They found that we have electromagnetic fields around us in our everyday lives: at home with our appliances, in electrical facilities, and near power transmission equipment. According to the website of this team of students (https://novelaosteam.wixsite.com/medea10), the work enabled finding that the values recorded are within the legal limits of exposure, and, as the distance to the equipment increases, the value of the recorded magnetic field decreases. 

Two special mentions were also awarded in the tenth edition of MEDEA, to a team of students from Colégio La Salle, in Barcelos, and to a team from the Póvoa de Santa Iria School Group.
The students Inês Oliveira, Eva Rosmaninho, Diogo Ferreira da Cruz, Luana Brito, and Joana Cardoso, from Colégio La Salle, carried out measurements of commonplace equipment, such as laptops, washing machines, and along power transmission lines. 

The students Ana Filipa Rio, André Filipe Páscoa, André Feliciano, Carolina Cardoso e Conchinha, and Diogo Brito da Costa, from the Póvoa de Santa Iria School Group, chose, in addition to domestic appliances, the Póvoa de Santa Iria train station and a power transformer station to perform their measurements.

Applications for MEDEA's 11th edition start in October. Registrations are open until 23 January. Students can sign up at http://medea.spf.pt. The measurements are preceded by a preparation course, taught by MEDEA's Supervisor, Horácio Fernandes, a Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico who pointed out he seeks 'better preparation by the students regarding the measurement of electromagnetic fields'.


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