Question Sheet: Swedish Rhapsody


Before reading:

  1. What is the Nobel Prize? Can you name any past winners? 
  2. Why might international science prizes be important?

During reading:

  1. How did students get selected for SIYSS? 
  2. Why did the students often end up skipping sleep? 
  3. Who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2004? 
  4. Who was Alfred Nobel, and why did he create the prize that bears his name? 
  5. What did the young scientists think might be a good use of $100 million? 
  6. How fancy was the actual Nobel ceremony? See and (Nobel Foundation). What did the students have to do to get ready for this event?

After reading:

  1. Most of the Nobel Prizes have to do with science. One exception is Nobel Peace Prize. Why do you think this prize was included? How is a commitment to peace similar to a commitment to science? 
  2. Looking back in time before 1901, the year the Nobel Prizes started, what scientist from history would you have given the Nobel Prize to? Why? 
  3. Richard Axel, a medical researcher at Columbia University, said the following about science: “It’s the best job in the world. A person spends one’s life thinking about fascinating problems both in life and in the world. One should take enormous pleasure in solving the problems of the world.” Do you agree with this statement? Does his speech change your feelings toward science? Why or why not? 
  4. Come up with two questions you would ask a Nobel Prize-winning scientist if you met him or her. 
  5. Why would the Nobel Foundation want young people at the Nobel Prize celebrations? 
  6. In Sweden, many people watch the Nobel festivities on TV. Do you think people in the United States would watch this ceremony? Why or why not? 


  1. Give some examples of traditional Swedish food. See

    (Swedish Information Smorgasbord). 

  2. Imagine that you are going on a trip to Sweden to participate in SIYSS and you have 2 extra days to look around. Where would you go? What would you see? Come up with a 2-day itinerary for this part of your stay. See (Swedish Information Smorgasbord).


  1. Imagine that you have won a Nobel Prize. What would you say in your acceptance speech? Write the introduction you would use. 
  2. Suppose you were interviewing a student who had just returned home from SIYSS. Come up with eight questions that you would ask this student.


The students who attended the 2004 Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar came from the following countries: Australia, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Hungary, Japan, Norway, United States, China, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Uganda, and Turkey. Assume that each student traveled from the capital city of his or her own country. Which student had to travel farthest to get to Stockholm? Which student traveled the shortest distance? What was the average travel distance?

You can find distances between selected cities at (U.S. Department of Agriculture).