Newswise — The Russian team won three gold medals along with a silver and a bronze at the fourth European Physics Olympiad, which was held remotely July 20-26.

The gold medals were awarded to Maxim Porkrovskii from Public School 1589 in Moscow, Alisa Bugrova from the MIPT-affiliated Kapitsa Phystech Lyceum in Dolgoprudny, and Tatiana Emelianova from Moscow Public School 2007. The silver went to Fedor Oksanichenko from the Academic Lyceum: Alferov Physical-Technical School. Nikita Moskalev, a student of Kirov Physics and Mathematics Lyceum, secured a bronze medal.

This year’s competition featured school students from 50 countries. The tournament was held remotely, with the final results announced at a closing ceremony streamed online.

The Russian team was led by MIPT associate professors of general physics Mikhail Osin and Valery Slobodyanin, along with Vitaly Shevchenko, the deputy head of the MIPT Curriculum Laboratory for Engaging Gifted Students.

The Russian contestants began their training three weeks prior to the olympiad. “By way of exercise, we solved about 100 problems with the students,” Shevchenko recalled. “Those were very difficult problems fashioned along the lines of those eventually used in the actual contest. It helped everyone get in shape.”

What made the 2020 contest special was its experimental stage. Because this year’s competition took place online, the contestants were assigned to run a simulation experiment, for example model the behavior of a cathode-ray tube.

“All of our schoolers have shown themselves as real champions with their eyes on the prize. They spent the entire graduation year getting ready, preparing for olympiads, participating in intensive courses. What we taught them only accounts for 20% of the success, and the remaining 80% are their own hard work,” Shevchenko added. “It takes lots of imagination, thinking, and creativity to come up with an explanation for what’s happening in a problem, so it is absolutely amazing to see what our contestants have accomplished.”

Held annually since 2017, the European Physics Olympiad, or EuPhO, has been modeled after the Asian Physics Olympiad and the Ibero-American Physics Olympiad. Each nation sends no more than five school students and one team leader to the competition. The previous three olympiads were held in Estonia, Russia, and Latvia, with the 2018 contest hosted by MIPT.

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