Kazakhstan’s team returned from France with silver and bronze medals. The awards marked the high schoolers’ participation in the international Olympiad on Earth Sciences IESO 2017 in Nice.
Gleb Smirnov, an 11-grader of Oskemen regional specialized school for gifted children in mathematics, physics, and computer sciences became the bronze medalist in the individual section. He won the medal after completing two written and four practical tests, which included questions and tasks on geology, geophysics, meteorology, oceanography and astronomy. First place went to a prodigy from China.
— This is my first major international competition. The participants are all kind, openminded and bright people and the competition was very challenging. The venue was perfect geologically speaking – the Alps, one of the youngest mountain systems. We stayed at local university’s campus. The program was so packed and with everything planned down to the last minute, we often returned to campus by midnight. We visited an observatory where we studied stars and were showed how the telescopes operate. The Olympiad demonstrated that the whole world is interdependent right now. Our team members were placed in different groups of 6-7 students from other countries. I had a great experience, and I also realized that the mix of modern and the Soviet-time educational systems in geology has lost its relevance. I have a goal now — I want to keep going and study the foreign system. I have got a lot of food for thought. Communicating, networking, making friends from around the world is simply cool. And honestly, I came for a medal and I got it. I’m graduating from high school next year and have every intention to study about international universities in order to figure out which one to apply to. One invariable is that my major will be in geology, — Gleb Smirnov shares his impressions of the event with us.
Gleb has been studying geology since second grade and is the author of several scientific projects, in particular this year he is studying exogenous processes near Zaisan lake in his native Eastern Kazakhstan. In Nice, that hosted the competition, two other participants of the Kazakhstan delegation won medals as well. Aruzhan Kalymova, a sophomore, and Moldir Shyngys, a senior, both from Astana won silver as members of two different international teams in Earth Science Project. The project-based competition focused on topics as environmental protection, global warming, colonization of other planets, etc.
— I love accepting new challenges again and again to strengthen my character and to learn new things, discover the world and to gain invaluable experience and knowledge. I knew that our team would cope with the tasks of the Olympiad, — said Moldir.
The team of young geologists from Kazakhstan participated in the IESO Olympiad thanks to the support of the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation. 2017 marks the 90th birth anniversary, celebrated in Kazakhstan, of a man behind the organization’s name. France hosted over 130 students from 30 countries from August 21 for ten days. Participants were evaluated by a jury consisting of professors from universities in Japan, USA, and Australia. IESO (International Earth Science Olympiad) is an annual competition held among high school students in disciplines like geology, meteorology, geophysics, oceanography and astronomy.
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