By Saiful Bahri Kamaruddin
Pix Izwan Azman
BANGI, 23 Apr 2013 – A total of 27 of Malaysia’s best physics students are taking part in an intensive programme to select five candidates to represent the country at the 44th International Physics Olympiad (IPHO) which will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark in July.
They are among the best of lower six and pre-university students in the subject selected for the National Physics Olympiad which began today at The National University of Malaysia’s (UKM) School of Applied Physics, Faculty of Science and Technology.
The programme began with a briefing by one of nine instructors, Wan Mohamad Aimran, who would be guiding the candidates through various sessions in the selection process.
The 27 students are made up of 20 vetted by the Ministry of Education based on school exam results and entrance tests conducted by the Malaysian Institute of Physics (IFM) of Universiti Malaya and seven candidates from UKM’s PERMATAPintar, the school for gifted children.
IFM chairman for physics education, Chia Song Choy said the five members for the IPHO competition will be picked from the national olympiad selection test given to the students.
The programme concludes on Friday, April 26 with an examination and the results will be announced a week later.
Those short listed will be going through rigorous training with the final selection based upon their performance in several tests conducted during the course of the training camps. The tests would include theoretical and experimental aspects of physics.
The 2013 IPHO in Denmark from July 7 to 15 will see some 80 countries taking part. Malaysia’s participation had been confirmed in February.
The selected students wiil undergo five hours of theory and five hours of practical at the Technical University of Denmark in Copenhagen.
Three Malaysian students, Koay Hui Wen, Ooi Chun Yeang and Yeoh Chin Vern earned Honorable Mention at the 43rd IPHO in Estonia last year.
The country’s best performance was in the 2011 competition in Bangkok when Chew Kok Wei of the Chung Ling High School, Georgetown won the Gold Medal and European Physics Society Prize (for The Most Balanced Score).
In earlier events Malaysia won the silver medal once and the bronze four times. The country had been cited for honorable mention 20 times since first taking part in the IPHO in 2002. Malaysia did not, however, participate in two events.