About the IYNT

Introduction

The IYNT is an inclusive educational network and a prestigious international competition. The IYNT is focused on student participants aged 12 through 16, the age group that has not yet chosen their favorite area of knowledge (physics, chemistry, biology, or other discipline).

Richly atmospheric, the IYNT is an experience of a lifetime for many of its entrants.

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 entrants 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.


Problems

The first acquaintance with the IYNT comes when the students open the IYNT problems. Simply-worded, easy to understand at first glance, our problems can take the air from the room.

The problems represent different natural sciences and propose collecting empirical evidence, rather than abstract arguments or speculative calculations. While exploring the science of everyday life, our participants learn that some of the most amazing discoveries are no more than a few steps away.

The main problems (nos. 1—12) are research-oriented and astonishing, yet focused around relatively specific effects and observations. Published a year ahead of the competition, these problems are discussed at Selective Science Fights 1, 2, Semi-Finals, and Finals.

The problems Invent Yourself (nos. 13—17) only state an intriguing general topic of a problem and require each Team to formulate their own research question that is disclosed to other Teams and Jurors in the beginning of each IYNT. These questions are discussed at Science Fight 3, as well as Semi-Finals and Finals.

Finally, the additional problems (nos. 21—26) are released just minutes before Selective Science Fight 4 and are not known to the Teams in advance. During an entertaining preparation phase of only 45 minutes, each Team comes up with their solution.


Exemplary solutions

We maintain comprehensive archives of the solutions defended by each Team in each Stage of each IYNT. Our past and future participants can study each solution and compare them with the delivered juror Grades. Our Jurors, in turn, can evaluate the whole range of expected solutions and improve their grading scales.

Previous IYNT problems, statistics of reports, as well as the multimedia presentations from the Science Fights of all past IYNTs can be donwloaded from the respective pages, viz. Eskişehir 2013, Kyustendil 2014, Belgrade 2015, Shiraz 2016, and Shiraz 2017.


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 scheme will help to catch a glimpse of a Science 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. 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.

Find more information about the Science Fights and the Standard Stage regulations in the IYNT Regulations. A more detailed glimpse of the grading criteria and statistics can be found here.


Tournament chart

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 minutes preparation phase.

Nine Teams with the best Rank R have secured their Bronze medals and move on to the Semi-Finals which are played in three parallel competition Groups. Unlike the selective SFs, the Semi-Finals are knockout, and only the winners of each Group move on to the Finals. Three Finalist Teams have secured Silver medals and compete for Gold. In the Semi-Finals and Finals, the challenge procedure is omitted and the Teams themselves select the problems to present among main and Invent Yourself problems.

The chart (see hi-res PDF file) gives an approximate overview of the tournament structure in case of 15 Teams, as well as the Tournament Brackets. Find more details in the IYNT Regulations.


Organizational Chart

The IYNT is governed by its General Council that has extensive reserve powers, selects the Local Organizing Committees and establishes subordinate bodies, including the Situation Center and various committees responsible for administration and execution of the competition.

Different bodies of the IYNT have different time horizons and work on different time scales. These bodies have complementary responsibilities and expertise, and in many cases they enjoy considerable autonomy over their work and decision making. A flawless knowledge of the IYNT Regulations and procedures ensures the smoothness and efficiency that the IYNT is renowned for.


Statistics on Teams and countries

Five IYNTs have taken place, and the 6th IYNT takes place in 2018. The IYNT has attracted so far a total of 65 Teams from 17 different countries. Belarus, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Georgia, New Zealand and Switzerland have been Gold Medalists at least once. Georgia holds the largest number of Gold Medals, a total of 3. Bulgaria, Georgia, Iran, and Russia hold the largest number of Medals of whatever kind, 5 for each country. Iran has sent the largest number of Teams, a total of 14. Georgia and Russia have competed in each IYNT, while Belarus and Bulgaria have skipped only a single IYNT. Afghanistan, Croatia, Georgia, Indonesia, Moldova, New Zealand, Serbia, and Switzerland have never sent a Team that would return home without a Medal.


CountryGoldSilverBronzeAll MedalsAll Teams
Georgia3 1 1 5 5  
China1 1 2 4 7  
Belarus1 1 1 3 4  
Croatia1 1 1 3 3  
Bulgaria1 04 5 6  
New Zealand1 00 1 1  
Switzerland1 00 1 1  
Serbia01 2 3 3  
Turkey01 01 3  
Moldova01 01 1  
Iran005 5 14 
Russia005 5 11 
Afghanistan001 1 1  
Indonesia001 1 1  
Kazakhstan00002  
Kyrgyzstan00001  
Ukraine00001  


Driven by passion for science

The opportunity to experience and learn something new is the energy that drives our entrants to accomplish their goals. In the video, the silver-winning Team of Moldova at the 1st IYNT 2013 explains how they become engaged in the IYNT.




What makes the IYNT special?

In 2014, we asked our supporter Andrei Klishin, MIT, about the reasons that attracted him to the IYNT. Andrei formulated his opinion as follows,

"The modern world depends on science and technology; not merely on their existence, but on their never ceasing advancement. This requires ever growing rows of inventive thinkers and qualified specialists, customarily produced by universities around the globe. The IYNT and IYPT defy this conservative approach and claim that it is never too early to start. Reaching results in modern world requires accurate, diligent and efficient work, concise and contentful discussions and mutually enhancing collaborations. This is not solely the realm of adult scientists. We in the Tournaments movement believe that the principles of professional work can be acquired in much earlier age and that they do not necessarily require attending formal lectures and classes. We give the labor of learning into the hands of the middle and high school students, because that is exactly what the adult world would want from them."