Main competition

It takes place in three rounds on three consecutive days on a time schedule that the participants will receive at the opening of the competition. Participation and are evaluation will be by teams.

First Competition Round: Checking the theoretical knowledge of karst and karst systems;
It takes place indoors and includes individual solving of tests (written and multimedia ones) by all members of the students’ teams. Assistance means/materials allowed for use will be announced further.

Second Competition Round: Field work on a preliminary prepared by the organizers route in the Brestnitsa Karst Geosystem for verifying the practical skills of the teams in solving research tasks.

Fieldwork includes:
  • descriptions of observed processes/situations;
  • work with maps and orientation in the area, incl. in a cave;
  • work in a natural laboratory (field trials and experiments);
  • collecting data from demonstrated field research methods and monitoring;
  • solving practical tasks.

The route is pre-arranged, with designated control points, guides and information boards, observation points, field surveys points and sites for experiments (with research equipment and a specialist to control and support the analyzes and experiments), an outdoor laboratory (for analysis to answer the problems posed), etc.
Support staff will be on the route to support and monitor the normal running of the competition and help for the safety of the participants at risk areas. Questors will be at the observation points, places of field research and experiments, as well as at the field laboratory. They will ensure and control the conduct of field tasks.
The descriptions made by the contestants and their data collected and processed during their field work and experiments will be used during the third round. The teams will also receive additional materials and research data for the Brestnitsa Karst Geosystem provided by the organizers.

Third Competition Round: Solving a Practical Case (simulated a problem situation in a real environment).

It is carried out in two parts:
  • preparation of the solution of the respective practical problem case: independent work of the student teams (indoors);
  • public defense for a wide audience (indoors).

The teams receive a hard copy (in a sealed envelope) of a description of a problem situation and related tasks to offer optimal solutions. Teams work together and have a fixed time in advance. Appropriate working conditions are provided such as computer equipment and the necessary tools (selected according to the tasks to be solved).
The teams prepare team-coordinated author's ideas and interpretations on the given practical case. Its solution is presented and defended publicly. The participants are free to use different forms and means of presentation, incl. multimedia presentations.

Additional competition events

They will be held in parallel with the main competition and in the free hours of competition program. They aim through the challenges of karst to provide the members of the student teams with additional opportunities for individual demonstration of abilities and skills in three fields:

  • Sports Race: The challenges of karst;
  • Outdoors Art Studio: The Attractiveness of karst: Nature as a sculptor;
  • Leaders in ICT - when solving tasks with a karst theme

Each of the additional competition events is attended by 1 representative appointed by each team (see also Preliminary preparation).

Please expect further information on the form and conditions for participating in these competition events.

Cultural program

It aims to provide emotional comfort to the participants during their free time and to familiarize them with the sights and cultural traditions of the area in which the competition takes place. This program includes:

  • Evenings of acquaintance
    The program is fun, but it also includes presentations by teams of karst regions where they have been trained or where they live. The forms and the ways of presentation are according to the choice of each team (they must be marked in advance in the registration form). The timetable and duration of the teams' submissions will be set up upon receipt of the registration forms for participation.
  • Other activities:
    - One-day excursion for the participants and guests of the competition to visit natural and cultural-historical landmarks in the Iskar and river Vit area;
    - Visits of natural and historical sites in the area of the competition;
    - Visiting museums/concerts;
    - Meetings with representatives of the local community.

Safety measures

Upon registration, each participant will receive additional instructions, the compliance with which will ensure a safe and enjoyable stay during the competition. Before the start of the competition and its supplementary forms, pupils must present medical records for their actual health condition.

The field work which will be the basic part of this competition will take place in a complex terrain, rich in a variety of karst forms both surface and underground ones. Due to the hazards of karst terrains, special measures will be taken to secure the competition routes and objects used in the field research, and the participants will be instructed. Rescuers/cavers will take care of the safety of the participants in the visited caves.

A medical team on duty will be provided during all events of the competition.