Five outstanding secondary school students representing Hong Kong have achieved excellent results at the 51st International Physics Olympiad (IPhO 2021). IPhO 2021, organised by Vilnius University in Vilnius, Lithuania, was held from 17-24 July 2021 with around 370 student participants from 76 countries or regions competing for medals. Due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, contestants participated remotely under online monitoring. The Hong Kong team, comprised of Chan Tsz-chun (International Christian Quality Music Secondary and Primary School), Cheng Yat-long (Raimondi College), Lau Sze-chun (Diocesan Boys' School), Choi Wai-ching (La Salle College), Leung Chun-fung (GT (Ellen Yeung) College), won three gold medals and two silver medals. With this outstanding result, the Hong Kong team was ranked 6th among all teams at the competition. This is the Hong Kong team’s best result in recent years. The team was trained and mentored by Profs. Michael Wong, Jensen Li and Ting Pong Choy of the HKUST Department of Physics with the support of the Education Bureau and Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education.
The HKUST Department of Physics has been providing training to about 90 secondary school students to prepare for the International Physics Olympiad every year since 2003 and the Asian Physics Olympiad (APhO) since 2007. The year-long training program offered to these gifted students covers topics from Newtonian mechanics to modern physics, both theory and experiment. The teams that eventually participate in the IPhO and APhO competitions are chosen from among those who receive training on the basis of their performance in a series of selection tests and competitions. The Hong Kong teams under the mentorship of the Department faculty were awarded an aggregate of 125 gold, silver and bronze medals in APhO and IPhO competitions up to 2021. Participation in Physics Olympics training and competition develops students’ potential and serves as a springboard for pursuing interests in physics and many other subjects at top universities and beyond.
Accompanying photo (left to right) back row: Leung Chun-fung, Lau Sze-chun, Choi Wai-ching, Chan Sze-chun, Cheng Yat-long; front row: Dr Kam-yiu Jimmy Wong (Executive Director of the Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education), Dr Ting-pong Choy, Prof. Jensen Li, Prof. Kwok-yee Michael Wong, Dr. Tat-ho Lander Lam (Chief Curriculum Development Officer of Education Bureau).