Teenager claims gold for Australia at world science games















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

Maxwell Etherington (pictured second from right), a Year 11 student from Brindabella Christian College in Canberra, has won a gold medal at the International Earth Science Olympiad in the Republic of Korea, helping to secure one of Australia’s best performances at the UNESCO-sanctioned International Science Olympiads.

Maxwell’s gold medal is the first for Canberra in 18 years. He competed against more than 180 students from 43 countries to win gold, finishing in the top 10 per cent of Earth Science students in the world.

His medal is the third consecutive gold for Australia at the annual International Earth Science Olympiad, where Australian high school students have been achieving outstanding results since Australia first began competing in 2015.

Maxwell was part of a four-member team representing Australia at the international competition. The three other students won silver medals, putting them in the top 30 per cent of students competing.

The International Earth Science Olympiad involved four 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.

Students also teamed up with competitors from different countries in an International Team Field Investigation, where they analysed the paleoenvironment of a Cretaceous sedimentary rock sequence that contained dinosaur and other animal track trace fossils.

Students’ performance at the International Earth Science Olympiad completes a full medal tally for Australia at the 2019 International Science Olympiads. Thirteen other students who represented Australia this year at Olympiads in physics, biology and chemistry all returned home with a medal. It is only the fourth time in the past 10 years that every student representing Australia has achieved a medal.

“At a time when participation in advanced maths and science is in decline, this year’s medal haul is inspirational, and I hope it will encourage many other students to pursue science at a higher level,” says Ruth Carr, Executive Director of Australian Science Innovations, which runs the Australian Science Olympiads program.

The Australian students spent a year in exams and intensive training before competing on the international stage. They outperformed more than 6,000 other students from more than 321 schools in the qualifying exams, making a shortlist of 93 to attend two weeks of training at the Australian National University ahead of final team selection.

The Australian team results at the 2019 International Science Olympiads are as follows:

International Earth Science Olympiad

26 August to 3 September, Daegu, Republic of Korea

Maxwell Etherington Brindabella Christian College ACT Gold
Anthony Manns Chatswood High School NSW Silver
Jordan Rogers Girton Grammar School VIC Silver
Imogen Viner Hobart College TAS Silver

International Chemistry Olympiad

21 to 30 July, Paris, France

Tom Harrison-Brown Sydney Grammar School NSW Bronze
Richard Huang James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW Silver
Joshua Lin Sydney Church of England Grammar School NSW Silver
William Liu Knox Grammar School NSW Bronze

International Biology Olympiad

14 to 21 July, Szeged, Hungary

Bahaar Bahaar (Gaia) Melbourne Girls Grammar VIC Bronze
Elaine Cheung The Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School VIC Bronze
Helen Han James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW Silver
Felix Pemberton-Adams St Michael’s Grammar School VIC Silver

International Physics Olympiad

7 to 15 July, Tel Aviv, Israel

Stephen Catsamas Marcellin College VIC Silver
Jessie Lum Pymble Ladies’ College NSW Bronze
William Sutherland Scotch College VIC Bronze
Simon Yung Narrabundah College ACT Bronze
Rosemary Zielinski Merici College ACT Bronze

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.