At the end of May in Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, the finals of the 57th national competition Jugend forscht were held. After the restrictions related to the crown, the competition was again held in person as a fair event in the Music and Congress Hall in Lübeck.
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia was represented in the biology department by Rufus Wegner from the St. Michael-Gymnasium Bad Münstereifel (StMG). He previously qualified for the national finals by winning the regional competition (Bonn-Cologne) and the national competition (NRW). The supervising teacher is Nikolaus Weiler, MINT coordinator at StMG and part of the ever-successful Jugend forscht team with Dennis Nebe and Daniel Mertens.
In his project, Rufus Wegner investigated specific systemic-ecological mechanisms that affect the fine structure and composition of soil. In the cultivation method he developed, he used precisely these mechanisms to increase the resilience of agricultural systems to drought in an ecologically and economically sustainable way.
Natural processes are isolated and enhanced to make the soil better absorb water at the micro level and store it to make it available to plants.
The result of his research – the concept of growing crop yields of alternating yield (WEP) – convinced the federal jury. For his many years of intense and highly scientific work on a future-oriented project, he won second place in the biology department for NRW.
“This means that St. Michael’s Gymnasium has again qualified for the state youth competition for eight years,” emphasizes Nikolaus Weiler.