Thursday May 3, 2018
Physics students create regional history as they head to China By Emma Houpt JOURNALISM STUDENT
Wellington High School (WHS) is the first secondary school in the region to have three students selected for the International Young Physicists Tournament New Zealand team. WHS year 13 students Sai August, Luke Roeven (both 17) and Zuni Preece, 16, will compete alongside two Onslow College students in Beijing China on July 19-26. The auditions were held on April 7 in Wellington. Luke describes the lead-up to the auditions as nerve-wracking because of the short timeframe they had to work on the problem and the fact that each student was working individually. “This was the most stressful period thus far simply because we had to do a whole new problem in two weeks,” Luke says, noting it would normally take months. “We’d be doing physics in all of our classes, stay after school as long as possible, and then go home and stay up until two doing physics. “Some of the teachers said we looked like zombies and we definitely felt like it by the end.” WHS Head of Physics Kerry Parker believes that having three members from the same school in the NZ team is a real achievement.
Wellington High School students, from left, Zuni Preece, Sai August and Luke Roeven are gearing up for the IYPT in Beijing. PHOTO: Emma Houpt
“The only other schools who have ever pulled off the three out of five are Auckland Grammar and King’s College,” Kerry says. Sai, Luke and Zuni are over the moon about going to the IYPT. The group of best friends accredit their success to working collaboratively with each other, their sense of humour
and sacrificing everything else in their lives for practising physics. “It’s probably one of, if not the biggest, competition you can get into as a high school student,” Luke says. “We’re still comprehending the magnitude of this. In some ways all the physics competitions we’ve done in the past have been leading to
this point and we have all got there, and frankly that’s quite astounding.” The WHS group are already familiar with the Onslow College students as they won the regional and national competition last year. “I think we’ll be quick to get along as a team given how well the three of us already interact.”
Cook Strait News 03-05-18