Science on the Move 2021

We are moving into the sixth edition of our nation-wide class competition!

High School classes from all over Switzerland will battle it out for a top prize of a Science Week abroad. The program promotes and requires the skills of a creative group of high school students. May the best school class with the most scientific curiosity and enthusiasm win.

Number of classes applied so far:


What is Science on the Move?

Launched in 2011, Science on the Move is a biannual, nationwide science competition for upper secondary school classes in Switzerland. The programme promotes scientific curiosity, enthusiasm and teamwork. The competition is open to schools in all regions of Switzerland. Nearly 3,200 students have participated in the tournament since its launch.

The first phase of the competition is dedicated to research and experimental work and documentation of the results. Only the ten best classes proceed then to the second phase where they prepare a creative stage performance presenting their results and experiences.

The classes will prepare their contributions in their classroom, at school or wherever they see fit.
This year's Final Event will take place at Roche in Basel/Kaiseraugst on 11 June 2021. The winning class is then selected by a jury of experts from science, education and industry.

What is new in this year's edition?

This year's competition takes a different path. Instead of performing experiments on a specified subject, student teams are asked to design an innovative project that improves our society. It may apply for example to sustainability, social life, management of resources ... The project may lead to a scientific result, a technical invention or an innovation in terms of interactions in society. It may encompass a product, a procedure or a whole system and can originate from the fields of chemistry, biology, electronics, informatics ... or a combination thereof. There may also be an interdisciplinary collaboration with a second teacher of subjects like economy or history.

The project can be implemented if it is feasible on a classroom scale. But a "visionary" project is also possible. The class will present its concept in detail and think about the feasibility.

Detailed information will be given at registration.

What is a system and what makes it “smart”?

Smart systems provide clever solutions to problems from various disciplines. We know that such dynamic systems are present in nature. They self-regulate and adapt, based on internal and external factors, to run smoothly and use the available resources in the most efficient way.

How can you join in?
Science on the Move 2021 wants to address this topic in a broader sense. Can you, as a class, contribute to solving a problem encountered by our society by designing your own smart system? The field is huge. Think about energy, climate, waste recycling, water and air quality, food and health, economy, education, social security or social interactions. Examine a process you’d like to improve, analyze the different players or components and their interactions, and come up with ideas and alternative approaches to turn this process into a system with “smart” properties. The solution should make you smile – why? It’s simply clever! It benefits all participants, for example by saving time and nonrenewable resources and minimizing negative output such as waste or pollution, and thereby leads to a win-win situation on all levels.

Many smart systems have been developed in the fields of science and technology. Aquaponic systems combine the advantages of aquaculture and aquaponics to grow edible fish and plants in a symbiotic environment. Drip irrigation of crops and other localized irrigation methods provide only as much water (and fertilizer) as the plant can absorb and minimize soil salination and water loss through evaporation, which are common problems with conventional sprinkler irrigation. Organic waste is collected and brought to fermentation plants to produce biogas, fuel and community heating. Alternatively, every household can establish their own box with live compost worms to produce compost as a substrate for growing plants – a low-tech solution that converts waste into a valuable product.

But you’re invited to think beyond natural sciences. When we look at recycling (or upcycling) systems, economic considerations inevitably come into play. A company like Freitag uses modern technology to carefully clean and process truck tarps, but also relies on market research and a thorough understanding of business processes to create products that provide additional value to customers.

Smart systems in a social context help to exchange services or support the ones in need. They can also contribute to create or maintain employment. Digital channels such as social media and apps can be part of smart systems to bring volunteers together or facilitate resource allocation – think of the app “Too good to go”, which helps prevent food waste.

Think broadly! Remember the involuntary smile that your proposed system should evoke, the appreciatory nod at a clever idea. Once the actual task will be published for SOTM 2021, you will discover what is expected from your class, and which criteria were defined to judge your project.



Application deadline: January 22, 2021 (extended!).

Please read the Project Description carefully before you fill in the Application Form.

Please complete the application form digitally. E-mail the file (without signature and stamp!) together with a class picture (at least 700 px wide) to To make sure that the application is valid, don't forget to send a hard copy of the application with signature and stamp to the address mentioned at the end of the application form.

Application Form


Project Description

Please find here the Project Description of the whole competition.



Start application period November 2020
Application deadline (extended!) January 22, 2021

Phase 1 - Challenge

Publication Task February 8, 2021
Closing date (submission of project documentation) April 1, 2021
Selection of the top 10 classes April 6 - 16, 2021

Phase 2 - Preparation Stage Performance & Final Event

Announcement of the top 10 classes April 16, 2021
Stage performance & winner selection (Final Event) June 11, 2021
Winning class: science trip to London Sept 5-11, 2021


To get an idea about "Science on the Move"...


Science on the Move 2021
Please note that since the film was made, the focus of this year's competition has shifted. Instead of performing experiments on a specified subject, student teams are asked to develop their own ideas for a smart system. Of course, this may also include the performance of experiments. The film, however, illustrates nicely the spirit of the competition and gives a short summary of its structure.

Watch the playlist with the winners of the Best Performance Award from 2013 onwards.

This was "Science on the Move 2019"


Second place

Class 2bMN from Kantonsschule Stadelhofen
The runner-up in the competition won a 3-day science trip in Switzerland.

Third place

Class 3 BIC from Liceo Lugano 1
This class won a 2-day science trip in Switzerland.

Media Coverage

This was "Science on the Move 2017"


Second place

Class 3AB from Gymnasium Kirschgarten
The runner-up in the competition won a 3-day science trip in Switzerland and wrote a report about their experiences.

Third place

Class 18gC from Gymnasium Thun
This class won a 2-day science trip in Switzerland.

Media Coverage

This was "Science on the Move 2015"




Second place

Class 3i from Gymnasium Bäumlihof, Basel-Stadt
The runner-up in the competition won a 3-day science trip in Switzerland and wrote a report about their experiences.


Third place

Class 4E Kantonsschule Zug
This class won a 3-day science trip in Switzerland. The report will follow soon...


Media Coverage

This was "Science on the Move 2013"
This was "Science on the Move 2011"

Tasks 2011
These are the three tasks, the participating classes had to solve in 2011:

Project Portfolio 2011
This portfolio gives you an overview of the class competition in 2011.
It was compiled and provided by the teacher of the winning class of Science on the Move 2011.



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