Monday, 6 July 2015

Day 2 - Monday 6th July (Nehru Science Centre and Practical Examination Meeting)

Today the students went on a visit to the Nehru Science Centre and Planetarium, a planned scientific and cultural excursion before the examinations start. The centre was commissioned in 1977, and has become a hub for the astronomy research community. The centre also hosts the “Discovery of India” exhibition, inspired by the book of the same name by Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of free India. Nehru was a key member of the movement against colonialism, and the exhibition depicts the changes to India’s socio-political scenario over time.

The students are now in a full communication blackout for around four days, as the first examination papers are now under review (see below), and clearly it is important that students are not provided with any information that they could unfairly use to their advantage. The blackout will end towards the end of Thursday, after they have sat the theoretical examination. Students aren't even allowed contact with home during this time!

The meeting about to get underway
Meanwhile, team leaders, organisers, academic staff and observers have been in a closed IPhO international board meeting to ratify the question paper for the experimental examination. This was a long process that took the UK delegation almost 13 hours to be satisfied with the paper, although some teams worked considerably longer to translate the paper (originally written in English) into their native language. Obviously we can’t give any details on what is included at this stage as the students will be sitting the examination tomorrow (Tuesday), but an overview of the paper will follow in tomorrow’s entry.
The process of ratification did involve many informal discussions with delegates from other countries, including Puerto Rico, Denmark, Columbia, Germany and Brazil, to name just a few.

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