Working Towards a Brighter Future
The International Young Naturalists' Tournament (I.Y.N.T.) is an inclusive educational network and a prestigious international competition. The IYNT is focused on student participants aged 12 to 16, and covers the areas of physics, chemistry, biology, etc. Richly atmospheric, the IYNT is an experience of a lifetime for many of its contestants.
Participation in the IYNT nurtures student creativity and imagination. It helps students build a solid basic foundation in more than one discipline. By looking at core science subjects as a whole, the participants can better understand their research interests that carry over into their future careers.
The framework of the IYNT promotes not only an aptitude for interest-driven learning and research, but also long-term and dedicated work. It is impossible to solve an IYNT problem in a one-hour brainstorming session, and it is nearly impossible to solve it when working alone. The IYNT therefore sits on the exact opposite end of the spectrum from classroom exercises, exams and pencil-and-paper Olympiads.
The IYNT underpins resourcefulness, experimentation, persistence, critical thinking, collaborative learning, independent research, and a whole new level of cooperation between teachers and their students.
The tournament is composed of four selective Science Fights, one Semi-Final SF, and the Finals.
The IYNT combines features of round-robin matches, Swiss-system tournaments, and elimination tournaments.
Throughout four selective SFs, each Team meets other contestants, and no Team is eliminated. These competition rounds are played in parallel all-play-all Groups. The Teams are rotated after each SF to ensure as far as possible that no two Teams meet more than once.
Selective SF 1 and SF 2 are focused on main IYNT problems known to the Teams in advance. Selective SF 3 is focused on problems Invent Yourself with the original problem statements by each Team. Selective SF 4 is focused on additional problems that the Teams are given immediately before the Fight to solve during a 45' preparation phase.
Roles In A Fight
Three Teams of six members each are seated in a Fight Room before a panel of jurors. The Team of Opponents challenges the Team of Reporters on one of the IYNT problems. If the challenge is accepted by the Reporters, one Team member takes to the floor and presents their solution in an 8 minutes talk.
The Team of Opponents poses clarifying questions to the Reporter and briefly prepares. A Team member of the Opposing Team takes the stage, criticizes the Report, and draws attention to possible shortcomings and errors in the understanding of the problem and in the solution. This leads to a discussion between the Reporter and the Opponent in which the Reporter defends their results.
The Team of Reviewers assesses the outcome of the debate and draws impartial conclusions.
Overview of a Science Fight
Discussion of the IYNT problems during our events has a form of scientific discussions called Science Fights or SF, shortly. A Science Fight resembles a scientific seminar or a graduate thesis defense. In a Science Fight, the Teams switch their roles and take to the floor as Reporters, Opponents, and Reviewers. Their performance is then graded by professional jury of research scientists and educators.
The Jurors hold up their scores and the Chairperson concludes the first Stage which lasts around 50 minutes. After a short break, second and third Stages continue, and all Teams switch their roles.