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The National Science Contest is the oldest science and technology cultural event in Korea. The National Science Contest has been held since 1949 to succeed in the development of Korea's first student science contest, 'Our Science Contest.' Our Science Contest was organized by the Joseon Science Society three times between 1946 and 1948.
Although Our Science Contest limited the participation to only elementary, middle and high school students, the expansion of the National Science Contest in 1949 enabled other people to participate. The first National Science Contest was held at the Gyeongbok Palace Museum of Art under the auspices of the Ministry of Education in October of 1949. Since then, the National Science Contest has been suspended due to the Korean War and was held every year since its second annual event in 1955. In 1964, it was hosted by the National Science Museum, and in 1969, it was transferred from the Ministry of Education to the Ministry of Science and Technology. And from 1971, related government ministries, science societies, and government-funded research institutes were established as sponsors to the event.
Besides the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry participated in 1971, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Energy in 1980, and the Ministry of Environment in 1997. In 1996, the contest began to hold a student guidance to their research thesis competition to improve the quality of teachers, and from 2000 it provided teachers with a research achievement rating to provide participation motivation.