ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s team has come in eighth out of 85 countries in the unofficial results of the 45th International Physics Olympiad (IPHO), held at Astana’s Nazarbayev University from July 13-22. Students from Kazakhstan won three gold and two silver medals at the event, in which 383 high school students participated.
During the competition, students from around the world competed in two rounds of assessment, a five-hour theoretical round consisting of three questions and an experimental round in which the students perform experiments. Students can be awarded gold, silver or bronze medals for their efforts, or honourable mentions.
According to IPHO rules, gold medals are to be awarded to about 8 percent of participants, silver to 25 percent. About 67 percent of participants receive some type of recognition. Each country can send a team of five students to the competition. Technically, the competition is between individuals only, and team performance is not officially ranked.
Amir Bralin, Nurislam Tursynbek and Danat Issa brought home gold medals for Kazakhstan, while Daulet Kurmantayev and Nurbek Dinmuhammed took silver. The students have represented Kazakhstan at other national and international science and mathematics competitions.
“The Olympiad was both challenging and interesting. The participants were very intelligent. Students from East Asia are our main competitors,” said Issa, as reported by Tengrinews. “Take China, for example – every year they bring five contestants, and every year, all of these five win gold medals. This year, South Korea showed excellent results, too.” China, Taiwan and South Korea were the top three teams at this year’s competition.
Opening the competition, IPHO President Hans Jordens commended Kazakhstan for drawing the largest number of participants yet seen to the Olympiad. At the closing ceremony in the capital’s Palace of Peace and Accord, Jordens and Kazakh Minister of Education and Science Aslan Sarinzhipov handed out the awards.
“We are proud of you,” Sarinzhipov said at the closing ceremony, reports Kazinform. “Your success would be impossible without preparation, so I want to express my gratitude to your teachers, coaches and heads of the delegations. To raise and educate children – this is a great mission,” he said, adding that he hoped that the interest of young people in physics would continue to be encouraged.
The 2014 IPHO was organised by Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Education and Science and the Daryn National Scientific and Practical Centre with the support of the akimat (city administration) of Astana. It was sponsored by ExxonMobil Kazakhstan.
While in the country, visiting delegations were taken to the notable sights of Astana as well as the Borovoye resort area a few hours drive from the capital.
The 2015 IPHO will take place in Mumbai, India.