GDCh special award "Jugend forscht"

Special prize "Jugend forscht"

For several years now, the GDCh has been awarding the "Topic Prize for Linking Theory with Chemical Practice" as part of the "Jugend forscht" competition.

With this, the GDCh honors outstanding experimental work in chemistry with well-founded theoretical justification or derivation. The prize is endowed with 1000 euros and, like all special prizes, is traditionally presented on the evening before the award ceremony for the national competition.
Like the GDCh high school graduate award, the award underscores the GDCh's concern to encourage young people to explore and understand our world scientifically.

Winner 2021

Anna-Yaroslava Bodnar und Alexander Csaba Baumgarten erhielten den "Themenpreis für die Verknüpfung von Theorie mit chemischer Praxis" der GDCh im Rahmen des Wettbewerbs "Jugend forscht". (c) Stiftung Jugend forscht e. V.

Anna-Yaroslava Bodnar (16), Alexander Csaba Baumgarten (17), Heinrich-Hertz-Gymnasium, Berlin

Alu in dinner? - Indicator for the quantitative analysis of aluminum ions

Aluminum is suspected of being harmful to human health. Anna-Yaroslava Bodnar and Alexander Csaba Baumgarten have long been concerned with the question of how the aluminum content in food can be determined quickly and easily. To do this, they used dyes that form molecular complexes with aluminum ions. Mixing and testing the dyes in an optimal ratio turned out to be tricky, as laboratory tests were not possible due to the corona pandemic. The young researcher therefore relocated the laboratory to the home office: Using the computer, they calculated the spectra of the various molecular complexes and dye mixtures. On the basis of these formulas, they believe, easy-to-use test sticks for the home can be developed.

Winner 2019

Milena Wiegand, Max Asenow und Tina Munkewitz erhielten den "Themenpreis für die Verknüpfung von Theorie mit chemischer Praxis" der GDCh im Rahmen des Wettbewerbs "Jugend forscht". Prof. Dr. Evamarie Hey-Hawkins aus dem GDCh-Vorstand überreichte den Jungforschern die Auszeichnung. (c) Stiftung Jugend forscht e. V.

Milena Wiegand (18), Erfurt, Max Asenow (18), Bad Berka, and Tina Munkewitz (18), Eisenach
Albert Schweitzer High School Erfurt, Institute for Organic Chemistry, Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Highlighter for proteins - synthesis of new thiazole derivatives for fluorescence microscopy

With the help of fluorescent dyes, vital proteins in cells can be marked and their metabolism made visible. The winners synthesized two new fluorescent dyes - Matao blue I and Matao blue II. They used these to stain bacteria, cancer cells and plant samples. Under the fluorescence microscope, they could see that different proteins were marked in blue in the different cell types: in bacteria, the dyes accumulated at the cell poles, in cancer cells in the area around the nucleus. For the complex evaluation of the analysis data, the young researchers developed software with which the data can be processed more quickly and easily.

The jury was particularly impressed that Milena Wiegand, Max Asenow and Tina Munkewitz not only developed their own interesting problem, but also recognized the potential of the new dyes in the course of their research. Everyone in the team contributed their strengths, so that the young researchers achieved an excellent overall result in a particularly interdisciplinary manner.

For her work, she was not only awarded the GDCh special prize but also the prize for the best interdisciplinary work from the Federal Minister for Education and Research, Anja Karliczek, Member of the Bundestag.

Winner 2018

GDCh-Präsident Dr. Matthias Urmann überreichte Malek Sbeih den "Themenpreis für die Verknüpfung von Theorie mit chemischer Praxis" der GDCh. (c) Merck, Stiftung Jugend forscht e. V.

Malek Sbeih (19), Weimar
Carl Zeiss Gymnasium Jena, Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Fat dissolver with light switch: synthesis and investigation of photochemically switchable surfactants


Surfactants clean so effectively because, thanks to their bipolar structure, they firmly lock in fat and oil particles and separate them from the water. Malek Sbeih went in search of surfactants whose function can be controlled and which can be recycled. He came across spiropyrans - molecules that change when exposed to light. The young researcher coupled spiropyrans with organic acids and thus obtained light-switchable surfactants: Under UV light, the fat dissolvers form spherical micelles around oil and fat, which can be filtered off. When irradiated with green light, on the other hand, the micelles disintegrate and the surfactants are released again. In the opinion of the young researcher, a new method could be developed on this basis that could be used to purify sea and river water, especially in the event of oil spills.

The young researcher convinced the jury with his creativity and well-founded specialist knowledge. With his project he demonstrated a high degree of independence and determination. His written work as well as his presentation showed a high scientific level.

For his work, he was not only awarded the GDCh special prize but also first prize in the chemistry category and the prize of the federal sponsorship company (Merck), a research stay in Great Britain.

2017 winner

GDCh-Vorstandsmitglied Dr. Timo Fleßner, Bayer AG, überreichte Arta Safari den "Themenpreis für die Verknüpfung von Theorie mit chemischer Praxis" der GDCh im Rahmen des Wettbewerbs "Jugend forscht". (c) Stiftung Jugend forscht e. V.

Arta Safari (17),
Altes Gymnasium, Bremen, and Hybrid Materials Interfaces Group, University of Bremen
Strong forces in thin layers: Immobilization of laccase for catalytic applications Certain enzymes form layers on surfaces that are only one molecular layer thick. Arta Safari suspects that such monolayers could be used to develop highly effective catalysts. However, it has not yet been clarified which forces are involved in the attachment. The young researcher simulated the interactions of the enzyme laccase with surfaces made of both silicon dioxide and graphene, a special form of carbon, on the computer. He found that laccase is retained on silicon dioxide by electrostatic interactions. In the case of graphene, on the other hand, the charge clouds of enzyme building blocks and carbon overlap. Since this bond is particularly strong and independent of external factors, graphene would be ideal as a carrier for biocatalysts. For his work, he was not only awarded the GDCh special prize but also third prize in the chemistry category.

2016 winner

GDCh-Vorstandsmitglied Professor Dr. Hans-Günther Schmalz, Universität zu Köln, überreichte Felix Mende den "Themenpreis für die Verknüpfung von Theorie mit chemischer Praxis" der GDCh im Rahmen des Wettbewerbs "Jugend forscht". (c) Stiftung Jugend forscht e. V.

Felix Mende (19),
Technical University Dresden

"A clean affair: chemistry that clings - what the environment doesn't want! Filtering out dyes from wastewater is important for people and the environment because these substances are often harmful and carcinogenic. Felix Mende used numerous series of measurements with porous metallic materials to examine dangerous substances Because he was able to prove a good cleaning effect with his experiments, he extended his analyzes to drugs - with success! He was also able to remove an antibiotic from the water. The young researcher sees the cleaning substances used, so-called metal-organic frameworks, as a promising solution in the pursuit of clean water, and its basic research could benefit sewage treatment plants in the future and possibly even help to remove Pesticides from water.

2015 winner

Prof. Dr. Barbara Albert, stellvertretende Präsidentin der GDCh, überreichte Benedikt Pintat den "Themenpreis für die Verknüpfung von Theorie mit chemischer Praxis" der GDCh im Rahmen des Wettbewerbs "Jugend forscht". (c) Stiftung Jugend forscht e. V.

Benedict Pintat
Walther-Rathenau-Gymnasium, Bitterfeld

"Voltage with effect - experiments with plasmatic processes in electrolysis in aqueous solutions" Water can be split into oxygen and hydrogen with electricity. Through his laboratory tests, Benedikt Pintat discovered that even more happens with this electrolysis: At particularly high voltage, an energy-rich plasma, i.e. a mixture of ionized particles and electrons, forms on the two electrodes. The plasma is noticeable at the cathode by means of a bright glow and intense heat. The high energy is discharged at the anode through lightning, and a solid coating of ceramic-like oxides forms on the metal of the anode. The young researcher believes that this coating is of particular interest to industry. Depending on which substances are dissolved in the electrolyte, tailor-made, ceramic-coated metal materials can be produced. (c) Jugend forscht e. V.

2014 winner

„Oberflächen mit Potenzial“ – für seine Arbeiten zu nanoporösen Oberflächen erhielt Arne Hensel den GDCh-Sonderpreis. (c) Jugend forscht e. V.

Arne Hensel,
Student Research Center North Hesse, Kassel

?Cavity - Analysis of uniaxial meso- and nano-porous systems in anodically oxidized aluminum? As part of his project, the seventeen-year-old Hensel was able to demonstrate the link between theory and chemical practice in an outstanding way. Nanostructures are the basis of many high-tech products, from catalysts and self-cleaning paint to sunscreen. Arne Hensel produced nanoporous surfaces using an electrochemical process and thin layers of aluminum oxide using a microreactor. The young researcher used dyes as probes to analyze the surface structure. For example, he was able to determine the parameters that can be used to precisely control the pore size in his manufacturing process. His process could contribute to the more efficient production of organic light-emitting diodes, so-called OLEDs, or membranes for fuel cells. (c) Jugend forscht e. V.

2013 winner

Der Preisträger mit dem Modell einer Zelle. (c) Jugend forscht e.V.

Gabriel Salg
Hanns-Seidel-Gymnasium Hösbach

"Supramolecular host-guest complexes as fluorescence markers in tumor diagnosis and therapy"

As part of his project, the eighteen-year-old Salg succeeded in demonstrating the link between theory and chemical practice in an outstanding manner.

Salg has found a way how the luminosity of fluorescent dyes can be increased. To do this, he used host-guest complexes that have not yet been researched for this application. The award winner provides an explanation of how this works here.

The work was carried out by Dr. Roland Full, teacher at the Hanns-Seidel-Gymnasium in Hösbach, is in charge. Long-time GDCh member Full has already supported several participants in the competition in the past few rounds and accompanied national winners and winners of various special prizes. Fulls exemplary commitment drew the German Chemical Society, 1996, Heinrich Roessler Prize of the division for Chemical Education.

2012 winner

Dominik Spors ist von metallorganischer Chemie begeistert. (c) Jugend forscht e. V.

Dominik Spors
Martino-Katharineum Braunschweig

"Reaction Paths of Ferrocene and Troticen" As part of his project, the sixteen-year-old Spors succeeded in demonstrating the link between theory and chemical practice in an outstanding way. Dominik Spor's favorite subject has always been chemistry. He is particularly fascinated by reactions in which organic and inorganic chemistry meet, for example in organometallic complexes. Some of them show the typical behavior of aromatics such as benzene, but at the same time, due to the central metal atom, also properties such as so-called diamagnetism. Using ferrocene and troticen as an example, the young chemist investigated how complexes react with other metal-containing or organic compounds and analyzed the products with the help of mass spectroscopy. He found that the two chemically similar compounds differ unexpectedly in their reactivity. (c) Jugend forscht e. V.

2011 winner

Jean-Marc Mörsdorf und Benjamin Morbach zusammen mit Dr. Klaus-Dieter Franz. (c) Jugend forscht e. V.

Jean-Marc Mörsdorf and Benjamin Morbach
Wendalinum High School in St. Wendel

"Detection and properties of reductive complexes based on the ECL of luminol"
With luminol, criminalists can detect even the slightest traces of blood because the molecule reacts very sensitively with catalysts such as hemoglobin and glows in the process. In their experiments, Jean-Marc Mörsdorf and Benjamin Morbach came across reaction mechanisms with which luminol is made to shine through various metal complexes. They also found a chemical way to reactivate the complex after the luminescence, so that the reaction can start again. This cycle lowers the required amount of oxidizing agents and enables particularly precise detection of blood and other substances on surfaces. (c) Jugend forscht e. V.

2010 winner

Siegerehrung beim Bundeswettbewerb Jugend forscht 2010. Professor Dr. Henning Hopf, GDCh-Präsident der Jahre 2004/05, verleiht in Anwesenheit der Jurorin im Fachgebiet Chemie, Professor Dr. Anke Krüger, den GDCh-Sonderpreis an (von links nach rechts) Daniel Lamonski, Ali Karaca und Björn Bankowski. (c) Jugend forscht e. V.

Ali Karaca, Björn Bankowski and Daniel Lamonski
Christian-von Dohm-Gymnasium Goslar

"Why does iron sulfide synthesis whistle?" As part of their project, Ali Karaca, Björn Bankowski and Daniel Lamonski succeeded in presenting the link between theory and chemical practice in an outstanding way.

?If you put sulfur powder and iron wool in a test tube and heat the sulfur, you may hear a whistling sound. We wanted to deal with this phenomenon. In all relevant textbooks one can read that the clay is created due to the strongly exothermic reaction. We were critical of this statement and wanted to know the real reason for this phenomenon. To do this, we proceeded step-by-step: First, we succeeded in generating a reproducible sound by optimizing the initial experiment. Then we examined how the tone was influenced by changing individual parameters (iron wool: length and structure, test tube volume, test tube opening).

The result of this series of tests was that the audio frequency changes due to the parameters mentioned. We also found that the test tube is the sound box of the sound. By preventing the chemical reaction between sulfur and iron, we were able to show that a whistling sound is also produced here and thus the reaction is not the reason for the sound being produced.

Based on these results, we developed the following theory: The rising sulfur gas stream is broken at the iron wool fibers and thus causes pressure fluctuations in the test tube, which ultimately generate vibrations that can be heard as sound. This corresponds to the principle of sound development in a recorder.

In further experiments we found that the clay can also be produced without the use of sulfur. From this we concluded that this is a physical phenomenon, the thermoacoustic effect. This is based on the thermodynamic cycle in which the air is made to vibrate due to temperature differences above and below the iron wool. ?(C) Nachrichten aus der Chemie

2009 winner

Timo Imhof und Thomas Fuchs schützen Vitamin C mit Cyclodextrin. (c) Jugend forscht e. V.

Timo Imhof and Thomas Fuchs
Hanns-Seidel-Gymnasium Hösbach

"News from the molecular kitchen: Cyclodextrin protects vitamin C"

"You take fruit and vegetable juices, add cyclodextrin and the vitamin C injection is ready." This is the key message of Timo Imhof and Thomas Fuchs, the two 16-year-old students from the Hanns-Seidel-Gymnasium in Hösbach (Aschaffenburg district) received the special prize from the German Chemical Society in the 2009 ?Jugend forscht? national competition. Timo and Thomas entered the competition with the question of whether vitamin C losses when pasteurizing fruit juices and preserving jams have to be accepted, or whether there is a recipe against it.

"The focus of our work was the vitamin C stress in the kitchen," said Timo and Thomas. And so they demonstrated, among other things, that in an aqueous solution the loss of vitamins after standing for four hours was already over 10 percent and that vigorous stirring (oxygen exposure) and heat are particularly effective vitamin C killers. The losses were enormous, especially when heating in a pressure cooker. The addition of cyclodextrin, a permitted food additive, was able to reduce losses by over 80 percent at higher temperatures. The students not only analyzed the vitamin C content, but also the spatial structure of the host-guest relationship between cyclodextrin and vitamin C. They also called the topic of their work ?News from the molecular kitchen: Cyclodextrin protects vitamin C?. And they also had products from their molecular cuisine on offer at the national competition from May 21 to 24 in Osnabrück: self-pressed orange juice, pasteurized kiwi juice and jams made from mango and kiwi.

2008 winner

Felix Brunner, Raphaela Baumann und Johanna Kaltenbach gelang es mit einfachen Mitteln Opale herzustellen. (c) Jugend forscht e. V.

Felix Brunner, Raphaela Baumann, Johanna Kaltenbach
Georg Kerschensteiner School in Müllheim

"Synthesis of Opals" For the first time since 2003, the German Chemical Society (GDCh) has again awarded a special prize at this year's 43rd national competition "Jugend forscht". The award was given to a work in chemistry that particularly successfully combined theory and practice. The winning team, Felix Brunner, Raphaela Baumann and Johanna Kaltenbach from the Georg Kerschensteiner School in Müllheim (district of Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald) received the special prize of 1,000 euros for the successful synthesis of opals using simple means. "I was impressed that this team of students has succeeded in producing artificial opals with the simple means available to a school, solely on the basis of very good theoretical knowledge of Materials Science and intelligently carried out experiments," said the former GDCh president with admiration Professor Dr. Henning Hopf after the award ceremony on May 24th. This is a nice practical example from chemistry with everyday relevance, which almost has a craft character. Overall, Hopf was very pleased with the high level of the presentations at the national ?Jugend forscht? competition, which took place in Bremerhaven from May 22nd to 25th.


From 2004 to 2007, the GDCh special award for Jugend forscht was not awarded, as it was initially only intended as a one-off event for the 2003 Year of Chemistry. In the years that followed, the GDCh became more and more involved in promoting young people, so that the special award was resumed in 2008 and has been awarded annually since then.

2003 winner

Julia Drehmer, Angela Marx und Kathrin Brandt erhielten den GDCh-Sonderpreis für ihre Untersuchungen zur Diffusion. (c) Jugend forscht. e. V.

Julia Drehmer, Angela Marx, Kathrin Brandt
High school Wendalinum St. Wendel

"Diffusion speed in aqueous solution" Anyone who drinks their coffee with milk is familiar with the phenomenon that Julia Drehmer, Angela Marx and Kathrin Brandt dealt with. Without the influence of external forces, coffee and milk mix to form a homogeneous liquid. This so-called diffusion is caused by the independent and disordered movement of ions, atoms and molecules. The students were interested in whether the mixing takes place at a certain, unchangeable speed. To do this, they investigated the diffusion path of permanganate ions and copper (II) ions at different time intervals. Result: The diffusion speed depends on the type of ions and their concentration. The place and time of the mixing process also play a role. (c) Jugend forscht e. V.

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last modified: 31.05.2021 09:59 H from