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Olympiads Online

Secondary science students across Australia now have access to online resources to help them prepare for the Australian Science Olympiads exams.

Olympiads Online was launched in Melbourne on 8 December with Australian Science Olympiad program partners BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities and The Australian National University (ANU).

BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities funding has made it possible to develop Olympiads Online which aims to help students increase their chances of being selected to compete at the International Science Olympiads – the world’s toughest science competitions for secondary students.

 “With Olympiads Online, we plan to increase students’ access to the support they need to do the best they can in the Australian Science Olympiad exams; we also hope to incorporate forums with education specialists to give students equal access to science experts regardless of where they go to school or where they live,” says Australian Science Innovations (ASI) Chair Dr Gunilla Burrowes.

“Students will be able to assess their science knowledge and access online support materials, work through past exams, watch video tutorials, and communicate with experts,” says Dr Burrowes.

BHP Billiton’s President – Corporate Affairs Tony Cudmore said the Company was delighted to help grow the Australian Science Olympiad.

 “As a global resources Company with 130 operations across 21 countries, scientists are vital members of our 123,000 strong workforce.  We have geologists, chemists, physicists, hydrologists, metallurgists, engineers and environmental scientists who are all critical to our day to day operations,” he said.

 “The Science Olympiads encourages young students to pursue science and gives them the encouragement and training they need to reach their potential.

 “Which is why BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities is proud to support the program through a A$1.5 million contribution from 2014 to 2016.”

Also new in 2015 is the addition of Earth and Environmental Sciences to the program, making it possible for secondary students to compete for a place to represent Australia at the 2015 International Earth Science Olympiad in Brazil.

A group of 15 students has been selected to attend the first Earth and Environmental Sciences summer school at ANU from 9 to 22 January; they will join another 71 students selected to attend in the disciplines of chemistry, biology and physics.

The intensive Australian Science Olympiad Summer School is an integral part of the program, where students live in residential colleges at ANU and study the equivalent of a first-year university subject in their chosen discipline. From their performance at summer school, ASI will select a total of 17 students to represent Australia at the 2015 International Science Olympiads in Biology (to be held in Denmark), Chemistry (Azerbaijan), Physics (India) and Earth Science (Brazil).

“ASI has been selecting and training Science Olympiad teams for more than 25 years, but with new investment and commitment from BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities and ANU we are taking the program to new levels,” says Burrowes.

The Science Olympiads are also supported by the Australian Government Department of Education through the Mathematics and Science Participation Program.