Maths and science students go for gold
Australia’s brightest maths and science students will put their mental strength to the test on the international stage in the same month our nation’s best athletes line up to compete in the London Olympics.
Twenty-three outstanding secondary school students are preparing to compete for gold in the 2012 Mathematics and Science Olympiads, beginning in July.
The annual competition showcases the world’s most outstanding students from more than 100 countries.
School Education Minister Peter Garrett recently presented team blazers to students, including Ballarat Grammar School Year 12 student Siobhan Tobin (pictured), at Parliament House in Canberra.
A team of six students will be sent to the July 4-16 mathematics competition in Argentina, a team of four will head to Singapore for the July 8-15 biology competition and five students will head to Estonia for the July 15-24 physics competition.
Meanwhile, a team of four students will battle it out in chemistry in the United States from July 21-30 and another four will head to Italy for the informatics competition from September 23-30.
After a gruelling training and selection process, students from schools across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia were selected for the Australian team.
Not-for-profit organisations Australian Mathematics Trust and Australian Science Innovations conducted the training and selection of students.
ASI executive director Lillian Lesueur said the Olympiads challenged students to reach their potential in the fields of maths and science.
“The International Olympiads are highly prestigious international events which expose our students to exciting new developments in the science arena and allow them to build international networks that will be invaluable in their future careers as science leaders,” she said.
Australia has won 526 medals since it first began competing in the Olympiads in 1981.
Last year, Australia’s mathematics teams won three silver and three bronze medals and the science teams brought home 12 medals.