A team of six school students from Russia has won six gold medals at the International Junior Science Olympiad (IJSO). Among them was Grigoriy Bobkov from Chernogolovka, who took the absolute first place. Gold medals were also awarded to his fellow members of the Russia A national team — Mikhail Matveyev and Yelisei Sudakov from Vologda — and Russia B team members Timur Davletbayev (Saransk), Ilya Panov and Nikita Chernov (both from Moscow). The competition was held in the Netherlands among school students from 48 countries.
The contest featured three stages: theory, practice, and experiment. The participants answered questions and solved chemistry, physics, and biology problems. For the experiment stage, each national team was divided into two groups of three. They then had to tackle three harder problems — one for each of the natural sciences.
In addition to individual awards, the jury named three best teams based on their performance at the experiment stage. Both of the Russian teams were victorious, placing first and third.
The team members were trained by MIPT professors and students supervised by Valeriy Slobodyanin, the head of the Curriculum Laboratory for Engaging Gifted Students at MIPT. The training in physics is due to MIPT professors Artem Voronov, Ivan Iogolevich, Sergei Karmazin, and Leonid Koldunov, as well as Sergei Varlamov, a teacher at the Kolmogorov Boarding School of Moscow State University. Chemistry training was provided by MIPT professors Maxim Karkeshkin and Yelena Snigiryova, as well as MIPT student Serafim Buyukli. Biology training was given by Igor Kiselyov, a teacher at Public School 192 in Moscow, MIPT student Ainur Maksutov, and MIPT alumnus Ivan Istomin.
Valeriy Slobodyanin comments on the results achieved by the Russian team: “IJSO is considered to be a particularly tough competition, because students have to be what we call all-rounders, excelling at all three natural sciences. Our team spared no efforts to prepare for the contest. This year’s olympiad had a strong skew toward biology. The training in this subject was supervised by Igor Kiselyov, who worked with schoolchildren at the summer boot camp based in the Sirius educational center in Sochi. Chemistry training, overseen by Maxim Karkeshkin and Yelena Snigiryova, was also given at the boot camp, as well as physics training, which was provided in collaboration with MIPT Vice Rector Artem Voronov, who supervises the Russian national team at the physics olympiad — this year it won a total of five gold medals. The students attended three boot camps at MIPT to study all three subjects and practice solving problems. They were trained at the biophysics laboratory of the Department of General and Applied Physics, as well as at the Department of Molecular and Biological Physics. The results they achieved are thus merely a natural consequence of the amount of painstaking work they did.”
The candidates for national team membership were selected from those participating in the final stage of the All-Russian Olympiad of School Students. Initially, 30 students were selected, six of whom went on to become national team members. The team representing Kazakhstan, which was also trained at MIPT, won six bronze medals.