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2018 Australian Science Olympiads Exams

2018 Australian Science Olympiads Exams

Author: Gay Ellyett
Author Role: Coordinator: Exceptional Scientists Program

As a result of participating in the Curious Minds program this year Rebecca Leonard (Year 9) was invited to sit the Australian Science Olympiad Exams. Over 6,000 students from all over Australia registered for the Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Earth and Environmental Science exams.

To be eligible to sit, students must be 15 years or above at 1 January in the year of the Australian Science Olympiads Summer School and not have completed Year 12. This means that Rebecca was one of the youngest students in the test cohort. The exams test knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and their application in contemporary contexts, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, and the skill of scientific inquiry. Each two-hour exam is designed to select the top students in each discipline to attend the Australian Science Olympiads Summer School.

Rebecca chose to sit the Chemistry and Biology exams. She would have sat the Physics exam as well, only it was held on Exhibition Day and finding a supervisor might have been a problem! She obtained copies of the senior Chemistry and Biology texts from the Library and diligently studied these in the weeks prior to the exams. Her mother told me that she fell asleep night after night reading these texts.

The top 10% of the 1,717 students who sat the Biology exam were awarded High Distinctions. Rebecca was one of these 171 students. This is a commendable effort for a Year 9 student and I know I speak on behalf of the entire College community when I say we are immensely proud of her. She informs me that she is already preparing for the 2019 exams!