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Summer School Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Australian Science Olympiads Summer School?

The Australian Science Olympiads Summer School is an accelerated science course for approximately 100 secondary school students who are invited to attend based on their performance in the Australian Science Olympiad Exam. The summer school is an opportunity for talented students to work with others who are passionate about science. The work is intense and covers the equivalent of first year university studies in biology, Earth science, chemistry or physics. It’s a great head start to further studies (and careers) in science.

How do you get selected to attend Australian Science Olympiads Summer School?

The first step is to register for the Australian Science Olympiad Exams in biology, Earth and environmental science, chemistry and/or physics. Approximately 100 students who perform exceptionally well in the Australian Science Olympiads Exams are invited to attend the Australian Science Olympiad Science Summer School.

When and where is the Australian Science Olympiads Summer School held?

The Australian Science Olympiads Summer School is a residential course that runs for approximately two weeks in January each year at the Australian National University in Canberra.

Who runs the Australian Science Olympiads Summer School?

The Australian Science Olympiads Summer School program is organised by Australian Science Innovations. The summer school is staffed by experienced teachers and former Science Olympians. The four programs in biology, Earth and environmental science, chemistry and physics are each led by a program director who is responsible for organising the courses, looking after the students, and managing staff.

Eligibility - maximum and minimum age requirements

Students must be 15 years or above at 1 January in the same year of the Australian Science Olympiad Summer School; and students must not yet have completed year 12 at the time of attendance at the Australian Science Olympiad Summer School.

Eligibility - citizenship

Students either have, or are eligible to have an Australian passport by 1 March of the year they attend the Australian Science Olympiad Summer School.

Do I have to pay to attend the Australian Science Olympiads Summer School?

Yes. There is a fee to attend the Australian Science Olympiads Summer School.

The cost for each student is $2,000. This fee contributes to the training program, meals, accommodation, transfers and return flights from the students’ closest capital city. The same fee applies to all students regardless of their geographic location. The fees help cover much more than transport and accommodation costs – for example, meals, payments to teaching staff and use of teaching facilities at the Australian National University. The fee is discounted thanks to generous support from the Federal Government and the Australian National University.

The support of our sponsors keeps our fees as low as possible. Australian Science Innovations is strongly committed to ensuring equity of access, and will provide support to those students who wish to seek sponsors to make a contribution towards their fee. Where a student is able to demonstrate financial hardship, Australian Science Innovations will work with the student and their family to enable the student to attend the Australian Science Olympiad Summer School.

What happens if I am offered a place at Australian Science Olympiads Summer School?

You will be officially invited to attend the Australian Science Olympiad Summer School by Australian Science Innovations. All students attending the summer school are given assignments and tutorials to complete by correspondence in the weeks before the school starts. Program directors will discuss these requirements with the students in their group.

How is Australian Science Olympiads Summer School run?

Students live and work at the Australian National University where they attend lectures and work in the laboratory. They study biology, chemistry, Earth and environmental science or physics at first year university level, working in small groups in their chosen discipline. Each group has about 24 students.

What are the arrangements for food and accommodation?

Accommodation is at one of Australian National University’s residential colleges, where all students have their own room. Meals are in college or perhaps an informal lunch on campus.

Australian Science Olympiads Teams

Australia’s teams in the International Science Olympiads are chosen from the students who perform well at the summer school. Selection for the Biology and Chemistry teams will also depend on performance in a final exam held a few weeks after completion of summer school.

Can a student attend summer school more than once in the same discipline?

Yes, a qualifying student can attend more than one summer school in the same discipline at the discretion of the program director.