Empowering tomorrow’s innovators: ISSP UL researcher mentors school students’ scientific research paper on photochromatic materials for smart windows

On May 22, the 12th-grade students of Smiltene Secondary School, Una Gaine and Marta Kulberga, showcased their brilliance at the 48th Scientific Research Works (ZPD) conference of Latvian school students in Riga. Representing the Vidzeme region and Smiltene Secondary School, these talented students left a mark with their innovative research project. Una Gaine and Marta Kulberga were honored with a 2nd-grade diploma among 476 authors presenting 418 scientific research papers from across Latvia.

Their research project, "Study of adhesion and thermal stability of photochromic yttrium oxyhydride coating for application in smart windows," demonstrated their scientific understanding and highlighted their eagerness to learn and explore new horizons. The students were grateful for the opportunity to delve into data analysis and software commonly used by scientists, enriching their academic journey.

Inspired by a presentation on smart windows at the ISSP UL, Una and Marta found their passion for exploring the potential of photochromic materials. They credit their success to the guidance and mentorship of ISSP UL’s Thin Films Laboratory leading researcher Dr. phys. Mārtiņš Zubkins, who is working on the Smart Windows project at the ISSP UL.  With a deep gratitude towards their scientific advisor, these young women are paving the way for a new generation of innovators and researchers.

When implementing the CAMART2 project, we celebrate collaborations bridging the gap between academia and youth, fostering a culture of curiosity, learning, and shared success that will translate into new ISSP UL researchers in the future.