Image: The team members in Olympiad blazers at Parliament House in Canberra
Twenty-seven of Australia’s best students have made the teams to represent Australia at the UNESCO International Science and Mathematical Olympiads in July and August.
The students will test their skills against 2000 of the world’s best in the International Olympiads taking place in England (Biology), Thailand (Chemistry), France (Earth Science), Iran (Informatics), Brazil (Mathematics) and Indonesia (Physics).
Almost half of the science students for Australia are girls, equalling 2015’s highest representation of girls since first competing. The girls will compete in biology, chemistry, physics and Earth science.
The informatics team includes two experienced Olympians, silver medallists from last year, Jerry Mao and Richard Gong.
The Year 8, 10, 11 and 12 students represent 18 schools from NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, WA and the ACT. They have spent a year in exams and intensive training to make the cut. They succeeded against more than 25,000 other students in extension programs and qualifying exams, making a shortlist of 150 to attend intensive training schools for ultimate selection to the teams.
“The International Science and Mathematical Olympiads are essential in capturing high-achieving students' interest in science and mathematics at a critical stage. It provides a platform which exposes them to advanced learning at an international level, and offers opportunities for them to inspire others on their return,” said Prof Ian Chubb, former Chief Scientist and Patron of Australian Science Innovations.
Claire Yung from Narrabundah College in Canberra will compete at the 2017 International Physics Olympiad. Claire decided to try out for the International Science Olympiads after participating in Curious Minds, a national mentoring program to empower girls’ participation in STEM subjects.
The Olympiad programs are funded through the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda. Additional support for the Science Olympiads comes from the Australian National University. Optiver is a sponsor of the Mathematical and Informatics Olympiad programs.
Australia’s International Science and Mathematical Olympiads programs are run by the not-for-profit Australian Science Innovations (biology, chemistry, Earth science and physics) and the Australian Mathematics Trust (mathematics and informatics).
2017 Australian team members
International Biology Olympiad 20–23 July, Coventry, England
Angus Cramond Year 12 Balwyn High School VIC
Katherine Johnson Year 12 North Sydney Girls High School NSW
Anne Pham Year 12 Balwyn High School VIC Anna Sing Year 12 The Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School VIC
International Chemistry Olympiad 6–15 July, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
Ada Fang Year 12 Sydney Girls High School NSW
Ivan Hou Year 12 James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW
Brandon Lee Year 12 Sydney Grammar School NSW
Dylan Siow-Lee Year 12 Sydney Grammar School NSW
International Earth Science Olympiad 22–29 August, Côte d’Azur, France
Jemima Jeffree Year 11 Indooroopilly State High School QLD
Joshua Lee Year 12 Barker College NSW
YiJie Neo Year 12 John Monash Science School VIC
Chen Zhou Year 12 North Sydney Boys High School NSW
International Olympiad in Informatics 28 July – 4 August, Tehran, Iran
Richard Gong Year 12 Sydney Grammar School NSW
Charles Jameson Year 12 Sydney Grammar School NSW
Jerry Mao Year 11 Caulfield Grammar School VIC
Angus Ritossa Year 10 St Peter’s College SA
International Mathematical Olympiad 12–23 July, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
James Bang Year 10 Baulkham Hills High School NSW
Matthew Cheah Year 12 Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School VIC
Linus Cooper Year 11 James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW
William Hu Year 11 Christ Church Grammar School WA
Hadyn Tang Year 8 Trinity Grammar School VIC
Guowen Zhang Year 11 St Joseph’s College QLD
International Physics Olympiad 16–24 July, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Bentley Carr Year 12 Sydney Grammar School NSW
Steven Liu Year 12 James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW
Yuyu Ma Year 12 James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW
Nishka Tapaswi Year 12 Hornsby Girls’ High School NSW Claire Yung Year 12 Narrabundah College ACT