17 Jun

Science Success for ISOP

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Students from Paphos will represent Cyprus at a SEMEP event in Romania

Two senior students from The International School of Paphos , Sophie Coates and Tanya Møller, have been selected as part of a team to represent Cyprus in Romania in July 2015.

Two senior students from The International School of Paphos (ISOP), Sophie Coates and Tanya Møller, have been selected as part of a team to represent Cyprus in Romania in July 2015.

Every year, ISOP encourages its pupils to participate in the South-Eastern Mediterranean Enviromental Project (SEMEP), a UNESCO environmental programme. At the SEMEP National Event, which recently took place in Nicosia, the panel of teachers and the Cyprus SEMEP Coordinator, Dr. Constantinos Phanis, congratulated ISOP’s students on their fine performance and their contribution to the programme.

This year, students from the AS-Level Biology group had initiated a study named ‘The Olive Tree – Oil from Water: A Sustainable Resource’, focusing on the extraction of olive oil and other products. Their comprehensive approach included the scientific method but also the social, economic and cultural significance of the project. 

The Southern Mediterranean region, and Cyprus in particular, is well-known for its rich, high-quality olive oil. The International School of Paphos has its own olive trees growing in the central yard. Having been planted in 2007, they are now mature trees and have begun producing a good amount of olives. Sophie Coates and Tanya Møller, together with other students from Years 12 and 13, assisted by Mr. Sotiris Antoniades (Senior Biology Teacher) and Miss Despina Demetriou (Senior Physics Teacher), started by collecting olives from these trees in the traditional way.  The harvest was then taken to the Chemistry laboratory for further exploitation, under the supervision of Mrs. Claire Polycarpou (Head of  Science) and Ms. Ursula Akonor (Science Technician). A series of extraction techniques were performed and the results observed, discussed and evaluated. The remaining olives were later taken to a commercial oil press.

Mr. Antoniades, who oversaw the project, commented: “The students have made us proud with their enthusiasm and determination. Our school has embraced SEMEP from when it was first introduced to Cyprus and Sophie and Tanya are continuing our history of success.”  

ISOP had seen a previous highlight when two of its students were selected for the 2011 SEMEP event in Croatia. It is the only school so far that has been chosen twice to represent Cyprus abroad. 

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