Young science athletes picked for Asian Physics Olympiad

Teenage Olympians to represent Australia at Asian Physics Olympiad

Australia to host Asia’s toughest physics competition for the first time

Team from NSW, VIC, WA and ACT announced at Australian Academy of Science, Canberra, 15 April 2019

Eight of Australia’s top performing student physicists have made the team to represent Australia at the Asian Physics Olympiad to be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 5 to 13 May. They will compete against more than 200 of Asia’s smartest kids representing 26 other countries and regions.

The Australian Year 11 and 12 students are from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Canberra and Sutton, NSW. They will compete in theoretical and experimental exams that draw on first-year university physics, and will try to win gold for Australia.

The students have spent a year in exams and intensive training to make the cut. They outperformed more than 1,700 other students who sat the qualifying exam, making a shortlist of 24 to attend a two-week physics summer school at the Australian National University in preparation for the Olympiad.

“For me to represent Australia at the Asian Physics Olympiad is a dream come true. I am here because of my brilliant science teachers who encouraged me to have a go,” says team member Rosemary Zielinski from Merici College in Canberra.

The Asian Physics Olympiad is Asia’s toughest physics competition for high school students.

“In selecting students for the team we look for analytical thinking, proficiency with equipment, and determination to use maths and physics to solve tricky problems in both theory and experiment,” says Siobhan Tobin, Physics Program Director, Australian Science Olympiads.

Australia’s Asian Physics Olympians will receive their Australian team blazers at an official team announcement ceremony at the Shine Dome, Australian Academy of Science, Canberra, on Monday 15 April.

“Hosting this competition in Australia for the first time provides an important opportunity to champion our young science talent, as well as shine a spotlight on Australian science education and Australian physics,” says Ruth Carr, Executive Director of Australian Science Innovations.

The 20th Asian Physics Olympiad is brought to Australia by Australian Science Innovations and is funded by the Federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

The Australian team members for the 20th Asian Physics Olympiad are:

Stephen Catsamas, Year 12 Marcellin College, VIC

Benjamin Davison-Petch, Year 12 Christ Church Grammar, WA

Min-Je Hwang, Year 12 James Ruse Agricultural College, NSW

Alexander Lin, Year 11 The King’s School, NSW

Jessie Lum, Year 12 Pymble Ladies’ College, NSW

William Sutherland, Year 12 Scotch College, VIC

Simon Yung, Year 12 Narrabundah College, ACT

Rosemary Zielinski, Year 12 Merici College, ACT

About the Asian Physics Olympiad

The Asian Physics Olympiad (APhO) is one of the UNESCO-sanctioned International Science Olympiad competitions for high school students held annually and hosted by a different country each year. The first APhO was hosted by Indonesia in 2000. It has grown in popularity from year to year as a platform for unlocking the potential of Asia’s best young science brains.

The competition involves two five-hour exams of university standard, one theory and one practical. Each country sends a team of up to eight competitors. Exams are undertaken individually, with bronze, silver and gold medals awarded to high-scoring students.

The competition is a unique experience for high school students as they battle it out to prove their knowledge and problem-solving skills, while also building relationships and sharing knowledge with peers across Asia.

/Public Release.