First Gold Medals from IYPT 2016
The Taiwan team, led and trained by NTNU professors, sponsored by Far Eastern Y. Z. Hsu Science and Technology Memorial Foundation participated in the International Young Physicists’ Tournament (IYPT), grabbing the gold medal after winning in five competitions. Taiwan has been working under the help of the foundation since 2010, taking home silver and bronze medals. The 29th IYPT was held in Ekaterinburg, Russia. A total of 29 countries and 150 contestants are in the game. This is the first time in 7 years for the team to get a golden medal, along with Germany, Singapore and Switzerland as top 1 in the world. On August 17th, the Chairman of the foundation, Douglas Hsu, praised them in a ceremony.
The IYPT is a week-long event in which currently around 150 international pre-university contestants participate. The event is preceded by a variety of national competitions, conferences, and preparatory meetings, in which dozens of thousands of people are involved at various stages worldwide. Three teams will be on stage and debate about physics in English and five judges will announce their grades. Those who participate IYPT should be acquainted with the various areas of physics as long as the ability to deliver his or her thoughts in English in a timely manner. What’s special about it is that IYPT allows the team members that aren’t onstage can sent notes to those onstage.
The lead of the team, Professor Hsu Yung Yuan said that the questions by IYPT aren’t easy theoretically or experimentally. The aim of the event is to let students to solve problems with in depth thinking, but in an international contest like this, every country sent their elite students and the level has gone beyond high school knowledge. This is a challenging task for not only students but also for the teachers.
Professor Hsu said that the teachers don’t want to cram the students with a bunch of knowledge. Instead, they wish to inspire students by doing experiment, analyze the result and discussion so students can gain knowledge on their own.
In the past, Taiwan was so close to the medals but failed to obtain any. Hsu says that the contestants this year are out going and have strong team spirit. They have worked hard on the preparation so there are only few mistakes on stage.