Teen girl bags gold medal at Earth Science world games


















Australia’s best gold medal haul at International Science Olympiads since 2009

Rebecca Whittle (pictured first from left), a Year 11 student from Abbotsleigh high school in Sydney, has won a gold medal at the International Earth Science Olympiad in Thailand, securing Australia’s best gold medal performance at the UNESCO-sanctioned International Science Olympiads since 2009.

Rebecca competed against more than 140 students from 38 countries to win gold, finishing in the top 10 per cent of Earth Science students in the world.

Her medal is the second gold for Australia at this year’s International Science Olympiads, following a gold-medal performance by Sydney Grammar School student Hugo McCahon-Boersma at the International Physics Olympiad in July.

“This double gold achievement is our best performance at the International Science Olympiads since 2009. Our teams have put in the hard yards and earned this success,” says Ruth Carr, Executive Director of Australian Science Innovations.

Rebecca was part of a four-member team representing Australia at the International Earth Science Olympiad. The three other students won silver medals, putting them in the top 20 per cent of students and delivering Australia’s best overall performance at the competition since Australia began sending a national team in 2015.

The International Earth Science Olympiad competition involved two theory exams and four practical tests covering all aspects of Earth systems science and planetary astronomy. Topics included the geology of planetary bodies, the formation of rocks, rock and mineral identification, sea-level rise processes and the geochemistry of groundwater.

Rose Zhang (pictured first from right) from Narrabundah College in Canberra was also part of a team awarded a silver medal in the International Team Field Investigation that she completed with students from other countries. This part of the competition emphasises international collaboration and teamwork.

“We are very proud of our teams’ achievements this year that are a testament to their hard work and the Australian Science Olympiads program’s ability to nurture Australia’s top science students’ passion and talent for science,” says Carr.

The Australian students spent a year in exams and intensive training before competing on the international stage. They outperformed 6,000 other students from more than 280 schools in the qualifying exams, making a shortlist of 91 to attend a two-week summer school at the Australian National University in preparation for the International Science Olympiad competitions.

The Australian team results at the 2018 International Science Olympiads are as follows:

International Earth Science Olympiad

8 to 17 August, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Rebecca Whittle Abbotsleigh NSW Gold
Wayne Wong James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW Silver
Rose Zhang Narrabundah College ACT Silver
Kim Zheng James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW Silver

International Physics Olympiad

21 to 29 July, Lisbon, Portugal

Stephen Catsamas Marcellin College VIC Bronze
Boris Deletic John Monash Science School VIC Honourable Mention
Alicia Lieng Meriden School NSW Honourable Mention
Hugo McCahon-Boersma Sydney Grammar School NSW Gold
Vladimir Mikho John Monash Science School VIC Bronze

International Chemistry Olympiad

19 to 29 July, Prague, Czech Republic and Bratislava, Slovakia

Kieran Connor Sydney Grammar School NSW Silver
Richard Huang James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW Silver
Raymond Li James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW Silver
Phillip Liang James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW Bronze

International Biology Olympiad

15 to 22 July, Tehran, Iran

Sai Campbell Presbyterian Ladies’ College VIC Bronze
Shanni Chen Caulfield Grammar School VIC Silver
Luke Hemmingsen Burgmann Anglican School ACT Bronze
Jessica Law University High School VIC Silver

Learn more about the Australian Science Olympiad Competition at: www.asi.edu.au


Debra Maynard on 0407 299 007 or 02 9665 7182, or

Yelena Ramli on 02 6125 6282.