Teen girl bags gold medal in International Science Olympiads














Science Olympiad girls sweep eight medals including one gold and break Australia’s record at the International Physics Olympiad

YiJie Neo, a Year 12 student from John Monash Science School in Melbourne, has won a gold medal in the International Earth Science Olympiad in France, bringing the Australian team medal haul to 17 at the UNESCO-sanctioned 2017 International Science Olympiads.

YiJie competed against more than 100 students from 29 countries, and finished in the top 10 per cent of Earth Science students in the world. The competition involved two theory exams and four practical tests covering the topics of atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere and astronomy.

Another Australian team member, Nishka Tapaswi, a Year 12 student from Hornsby Girls’ High School, set a new record by being the first girl to bring home a silver medal from the International Physics Olympiad, which was held this year in Indonesia. She competed against 400 students from 86 countries and was Australia’s sole silver medallist in the tough Physics competition.

YiJie and Nishka were two of the eight girls and nine boys who made the teams to represent Australia at the 2017 International Science Olympiads in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science and Physics.

“This is an outstanding achievement for Australia. We are delighted that our female Science Olympians raised the bar in a field that has too few female representatives,” says Ruth Carr, Executive Director of Australian Science Innovations.

“Our impressive medal haul this year is testament to our Science Olympians’ hard work and the program’s ability to not only nurture Australia’s top science students’ passion and talent for science, but also to break down gender stereotypes in science-related fields,” says Carr.

The students spent a year in exams and intensive training before competing on the international stage. They outperformed 5,015 other students from more than 300 schools in the qualifying exams, making a shortlist of 93 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 2017 International Science Olympiads are as follows:

International Biology Olympiad

23 to 30 July, Coventry, England

Angus Cramond Balwyn High School VIC Silver
Anne Pham Balwyn High School VIC Silver
Anna Sing The Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School VIC Bronze
Katherine Johnson North Sydney Girls High School NSW Bronze


International Chemistry Olympiad

6 to 15 July, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

Ivan Hou James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW Silver
Brandon Lee Sydney Grammar School NSW Silver
Ada Fang Sydney Girls High School NSW Bronze
Dylan Siow-Lee Sydney Grammar School NSW Bronze


International Earth Science Olympiad

22 to 29 August, Côte d’Azur, France

YiJie Neo John Monash Science School VIC Gold
Jemima Jeffree Indooroopilly State High School QLD Silver
Joshua Lee Barker College NSW Bronze
Chen Zhou North Sydney Boys High School NSW Bronze


International Physics Olympiad

16 to 24 July, Yogyakarta, Indonesia 

Nishka Tapaswi Hornsby Girls’ High School NSW Silver
Bentley Carr Sydney Grammar School NSW Bronze
Steven Liu James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW Bronze
Yuyu Ma James Ruse Agricultural High School NSW Bronze
Claire Yung Narrabundah College ACT Bronze


Debra Maynard on 0407 299 007 or 02 9665 7182, or
Yelena Ramli on 0451 124 050 or 02 6125 6282.