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My time at physics summer school

17 year old Alexandra Karamesinis spent two of the most enriching weeks of her life at the Australian Science Olympiad summer school. Learn what she go up to.

The two weeks I spent at the Australian Physics Olympiad Summer School in Canberra were the two most academically challenging weeks that I have ever experienced. Despite the workload and the lengthy exams, they were two of the most enriching weeks of my life.

A typical day at Summer School involved three lectures, a lab session and two tutorials, finishing at about 9:30pm, usually followed by card games and socialising in the common room.

Weekends and weekdays were alike, so we made the most of our precious free day, visiting Parliament House and sourcing the best milkshakes that Canberra had to offer!

With this intense university-based physics course, I learnt more than I could have imagined, both theoretical ideas and experimental processes. The problem solving based style of the camp certainly pushed the boundaries of my thinking. Between this and the dinner table discussions with tutors and other students from around Australia, I learnt so much both in and out of the classroom.

Boarding in Ursula Hall at ANU tested my independence, giving me the opportunity to discover more about university life. The sense of camaraderie that quickly developed amongst the physics cohort was fantastic; many lasting friendships were formed during the camp.

I look forward to extending my Olympiad journey at the Asian Physics Olympiad in Hong Kong in May; it is sure to be an unforgettable adventure to enjoy physics in an international setting.

I encourage all students with an interest in physics to become involved with the Australian Science Olympiad program; the Summer School was a brilliant, inspiring experience which demonstrated the exciting times that await us in the field of science.