Holberg Prize School Project

Malene Buene fra Vennesla videregående skole vant Holbergprisen i skolen 2012Minister of Education and Research Kristin Halvorsen, winner of Holberg Prize School Project 2012 Malene Bue and Holberg Prize laureate 2012 Manuel Castells. Photo: Holbergprisen / Marit Hommedal / Scanpix

Each year the Holberg Prize stage a research competition for pupils in the upper secondary schools in Norway. The students are assisted by university scholars who visit the participating schools and present a brief introduction to scientific method and help the students develop their projects.

Over 400 students participated in 2013. The student's projects are part of the regular lessons in Norwegian, English, Law, Sociology and Anthropology, History and Religion classes. Even within these boundaries the themes of the projects still reveal some insights into what occupies the minds of today’s youth. Some of the topics from this year’s competition are; “Legalization of Cannabis”, “The self-image of young girls”, “Juvenile use of alcohol and their perspectives on it”, “Euthanasia - the intentional ending of lives”, “The pursuit of perfection”, “The difference between girls and boys”, “Positive/negative attitudes towards gambling”, “Word separation”, “The silk road to welfare - planned economy versus market economy”, “Young people dropping out of Norwegian elite sports”, “Satire in Norwegian television”, “What affects our study choices?” and “Suburban areas around Oslo”.

2013 / The Bergen Steamship Company during World War II
The winner of the 2013 Holberg Prize School Project was a project about the Bergen Steamship Company during World War II from Bergen Katedralskole.

In this project the pupils did a case study of the association between the Bergen Steamship Company and the Germans during the war. They analysed documents with widely different interpretations of what really happened. After the war, the police pressed charges against the shipping company for treason against the country.

The case was closed without a verdict. The pupils concluded that it was wrong to shelve this case, and that it should have been investigated more thoroughly.

Holberg Prize School Project's previous first prizes:

2012 / My family during the industrial revolution / Vennesla videregående skole
The project shows how a family was affected by the industrialization of shipping at the end of the 19th Century, with the transition from sailing ships to steam ships. Steam ships created economic  problems for the family, but the transition still had positive aspects. The food got better on board, ant many diseases were avoided.

2011 / Cultural conflicts in our society / Mysen videregående skole
This study found that immigrant youth experience most of their cultural conflicts in relation to other immigrants with different cultural background than themselves.

2010 / Cheating in school/ Langhaugen videregående skole
Three out of five students have cheated on exams and tests in upper secondary school. Girls seem to cheat more – and at the same time they tend to have more bad conscience about it than boys.

2009 / Adaptation - From book to movie and back again / Fana Gymnas
Are books more read when adapted into a movie? In this project they found no such effect.

2008/ Wikipedia/ Langhaugen videregående skole
How do pupils in upper secondary school use Wikipedia. Are they critical in their use of this website, or is it a "copy/paste-culture" among the pupils? Are there any differece between girl and boys in this matter?

2007 / Happiness / Stavanger Katedralskole
Norway is one of the richest countries in the world, but are Norwegian teenagers happier than teenagers from poorer places? The Project studied Palestinian and Norwegian teenager’s view of their own happiness.
2006 / School lunches / Bergen Handelsgymnasium
Is there a difference between what girls and boys eat at their school lunches. And what about the difference between the pupils at schools with or without a cafeteria?

2005 / Local dialects / Vennesla videregående skole
The local dialect in the schools area is largely unaffected by the dialect of a larger city nearby, this project tried to find out why.

2004 / The Olympics / Oslo Katedralskole
Are the Olympics a friendly game between nations, or an arena for political conflict?


Prize for the best educational programme

In addition, the Holberg Prize School Project also awards a price of NOK 15,000 to the teachers who presents the best educational program initiated as part of the Holberg Prize Schools Project. The aim is to encourage teachers participating in the project to share their experiences with others.

Project coordinator: Barbara Wendelbo
e-mail: barbara.wendelbo@holbergprisen.no
tel:+47 55 58 90 45
mob: + 47 907 44 896