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Experiences, knowledge and creativity: 3rd Animal Health Championship was held at UVMB

The University of Veterinary Medicine was home to the finals of the 3rd Animal Health Competition between 6 and 8 March 2020, where the top 10 high school teams tested their knowledge in the fields of animals, nature and environment.

About the championship

The idea for the competition was conceived in 2018, and it has proven to be a niche for high school students interested in the subject. In 2020, a total of 171 teams entered and started the quiz, which started with three online rounds. From September to December these tasks provided a variety of challenges that tested creativity in addition to knowledge.

The diversity of the organizers of the competition is demonstrated by the fact that from the first to the fifth year students of the University of Veterinary Medicine were represented, who started their work in August so that this year’s competition would be an unforgettable experience for every participant.

By solving the quiz, teams of 3 were able to sneak a peek into the life of veterinary students and gain insight into veterinary careers. Even before choosing a career, they could test what their work in real life would look like – if they were to chose to become a vet.

The students could use any tools during the competition, as one of the organizers’ goals was to learn how to search for information, a skill that will be a must in their later studies. In addition to completing and submitting the worksheets, two creative tasks were given to the teams: making a 1-minute video on heartworm disease, and making a household object entirely from recycled materials. There were a lot of creative and unique solutions that earned extra points.

The teams were ranked by the results of the three online rounds and the points for the extra tasks. The top 10 teams were invited to the three-day final in March to the University of Veterinary Medicine in Budapest.

The final

It is no exaggeration to say that these three days of the final gave participants a lifetime experience to remember. One of the venues for this year’s competition was the Bear Farm in Veresegyháza where Dr Péter Kertész was talking about the treatment of dangerous animals. Students were given a tour to the Lion House – which is closed for other visitors – where they could examine the big cats.

Their next stop was Üllő, the Large Animal Clinic of the University. At the Clinic, Dr Levente Harmat introduced the most commonly used method of blood collection from a cattle, as well as the vaginal reflection and the method of rectal examination – brave students had the opportunity to try it.

Thereafter, Dr Regina Remsei presented a series of examinations with the help of a horse: usage of stethoscope to hear heart and bowel sounds, how to feel the pulse and lymph nodes, and the usage of a nasal esophagus probe. In addition to the unique experience, the teams also learnt a lot of new information, which sooner or later gained points, as the competition was still on during the three days event.

On Saturday, vet student as mentors joined the teams to accompany and help them throughout the day. As a first program, Dr László Zoltán Reinitz introduced the students to the mysteries of autopsy, which was followed by several playful tasks around the campus organized by the departments of the university. These included the process of detecting antibiotic in milk, performing laboratory diagnostic tasks, examining vitamin C, getting out of the anatomical escape room or practising suturing. With the help of the sculpture park, the history of veterinary medicine and its distinguished experts were introduced to the teams. The evenings were spent with dinners together, team building games and informal chats where students could ask questions about university life, the courses and the veterinary profession.

On Sunday, the Student Center of the university turned into a competition venue. That was the moment when the teams had to prove their fresh knowledge from the past few days, the material of the online rounds, and they had to solve a series of tasks compiled by the sponsors of the championship. Summing up the points, the winning team of 2020 is team Dizzy Hens (Szédült Tyúkok).

Photos by Anikó Horváth and AHC mentors