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2016 Australian Physics Olympiad Team

Jamie Abel
Jamie, who is in Year 12 at the Shore School, has been selected for the Australian team for the International Physics Olympiad after taking part the Australian Science Olympiad Exams and competing at the Asian Physics Olympiad in Hong Kong. “The Australian Science Olympiad Exam is challenging and interesting, and allowed me to extend my interest in science.” Through this nationwide competition for high school students, Jamie was selected for the Australian Science Olympiad Summer School, and has now been chosen to travel overseas to represent Australia. “I’m looking forwards to travelling and experiencing new places and cultures. I am also excited by the opportunities to learn more about physics and to be able to apply it to solve difficult problems.” He has particularly enjoyed the problem-solving aspects of the Olympiad program: “There’s a lot of problem solving aspects to laboratory experiments. I found thermodynamics at Summer School to be particularly interesting, since it was completely new to me, while also being applicable to the real world.” Jamie operates lighting and AV equipment in a theatre, reads widely and also plays video games.

Colin Huang
North Sydney Boys High School
Having successfully competed at the Asian Physics Olympiad in Hong Kong,later this year, the North Sydney Boys High School Year 12 student will compete as a member of the Australian team for the International Physics Olympiad – one event in the ‘Olympic Games’ for secondary school science students. “The Australian Science Olympiad Exams test and improve your problem solving ability, and the physics program is intriguing and enjoyable,” says Colin. “My favourite part has been the laboratory experiments, in which we can physically see things occurring. It’s always interesting to see patterns and compare what you measure to what you expect.” Colin is a member of a basketball team and plays for fun and relaxation. He is interested in learning languages – particularly Japanese and programming languages – and also plays the piano. In the future, Colin is keen to study engineering, actuarial studies or science, all of which entail a large amount of maths. “I am most interested in the mathematics behind science. Applied mathematics allows for calculations and also an imaginary representation of the world and phenomena around us.”

Zoe Schwerkolt
Fintona Girls’ School
The Fintona Girls’ School Year 12 student has completed weeks of training at ANU, learning university-level physics. “My favourite area of physics is electrical circuits, because I’ve always been interested in them since I was little.” Zoe’s experience with the Physics Olympiad program started with the Australian Science Olympiad Exam in Physics last year. “The Australian Science Olympiad Exams are a great way to challenge yourself and expand your knowledge beyond the science taught at school. I was successful in making it to the Australian Science Olympiad Summer School at ANU – it’s been such a fun and rewarding experience. I’ve met so many likeminded people and made plenty of friends from all over Australia.” In her spare time, Zoe can be found swimming, running, playing hockey, piano or the French horn. She has also participated in debating with success and can ride a unicycle. “I look forward to the challenge of the competition and I’m excited to meet new people from around the world.” One of two girls who competed on the Australian team for the 2016 Asian Physics Olympiad, Zoe says “It’s really encouraging to see the effort being put into increasing the number of women in science, because it’s certainly a worthy endeavour, and I look forward to seeing plenty more women in science in the future!”

William Song
Scotch College
Through the Australian Science Olympiad program, William Song has been selected to compete for Australia at the 2016 International Physics Olympiad in Switzerland. The search for the nation’s top high school science students began last year with the Australian Science Olympiad Exams. “The Australian Science Olympiad program has been a real eye-opener and made me truly passionate about science, while allowing me to meet great people,” says William. The Year 12 student at Scotch College enjoys electromagnetism, but also playing cello, piano and basketball for a club team. Will takes part in his school choir and particularly likes the band Imagine Dragons, not only for their music, but for the humble attitude of the band. In preparation for the Asian Physics Olympiad and International Physics Olympiad, Will has had “fun doing physics for fourteen hours a day. In the future, he would like to study computer science, engineering or physics – “Studying physics provides insight into the very forces that govern the universe.”

Thomas Waring 
Christ Church Grammar School
Studying science at school has taken Year 12 student Thomas Waring to Hong Kong and now he will be travelling as part of the Australian Team competing at the International Physics Olympiad in Switzerland . Hailing from Christ Church Grammar School, Tom was selected from thousands of students around Australia through the Australian Science Olympiad Exams last year. “The process of preparing for and sitting the Australian Science Olympiad Exams will stand you in very good stead for future study in physics, or for that matter, any science. The problem solving aspects that are involved can help you greatly. It’s led to some amazing opportunities!” Aside from physics, Tom likes maths and philosophy (he’s a fan of Betrand Russell), and intends to study these subjects at university. He is a keen long-distance runner and has completed four half marathons. Tom also plays hockey, and the bassoon in his school’s orchestra. He’s looking forwards to prospect of meeting “like-minded people from far-off places. It will certainly broaden my horizons.