Zoe brings home bronze in the International Physics Olympiad

21 July 2016

Zoe brings home bronze in the International Physics Olympiad

Year 12 Fintona Girls’ School student, Zoe Schwerkolt, has triumphantly returned from the International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) in Switzerland with a prestigious Bronze medal, making her one of the brightest physics students in the world.

Zoe, who has already completed VCE Physics, was among 400 secondary school students from 90 different countries who competed in the IPhO held in Switzerland and the Principality of Lichtenstein over seven days from July 11 to 17.

Remarkably, only 25 out of the 400 students who competed were female, accounting for only 6% of all participants.

The path to Switzerland was a long one and began in 2015 when Zoe sat the Australian Science Olympiad Physics exam. Her excellent performance in this exam resulted in receiving an invitation to attend a two-week summer school at the Australian National University in preparation for the Physics Olympiad. Zoe continued to excel and was then selected as one of eight students from across the country for the Australian Physics Olympiad team which competed in Hong Kong in May this year. In Hong Kong, the talented Year 12 student was one of 1300 students from 230 schools. Her outstanding performance in Hong Kong earned her a spot, representing Australia in the 2016 International Physics Olympiad in Switzerland. The International Physics Olympiad was held at the University of Zurich where the world’s most famous physicist, Albert Einstein, was awarded a PhD.

“The International Physics Olympiad was the most unforgettable experience of my life so far,” said Zoe when she returned home. “I loved the opportunity to meet lots of other students from around the world who, like me, are passionate about physics. All the hard work and preparation for my exams was truly worth it.”

Zoe’s phenomenal accomplishment in the Physics Olympiad has inspired her fellow students to attempt the 2016 Physics Olympiad exam hoping to achieve their own personal success.

In her spare time, Zoe can be found swimming, running, playing softball, piano or the French horn. She has also participated in debating and can ride a unicycle.

The school community congratulates Zoe for her phenomenal success and wish her the best of luck with the rest of the year and beyond. She truly is the next generation of world-class physicists.