Sunday, 12 July 2015

Day 7 - Saturday 11th July (Relaxation or Many Meetings...)

Today the UK students spent the day relaxing in the hotel grounds and carried out some souvenir shopping in Mumbai. All in all, a pretty quiet day for them – but well deserved after such a busy week.

Meanwhile, team leaders and observers have been involved in various meetings through the day.

Firstly, there was the grading meeting to announce the boundaries for the awarding of medals and honourable mentions. Nominally, 8% of students are awarded Gold, 25% are awarded Silver or better, 50% are awarded Bronze or better, and 67% are awarded an IPhO medal or honourable mention.

Secondly, each country had several 20 minute meetings with members of the academic committee to discuss any disagreement with marking of each component of the two examination papers.

Finally, there was an IPhO international board meeting to ratify the results of the 2015 IPhO, consider any motions put forward (such as amendments to the IPhO syllabus or protocol and procedures) and to look ahead to the 2016 IPhO in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Meetings finally concluded at midnight, with an early start the next day for the closing ceremony.

Hosting an IPhO takes considerable organising, and earlier in the week I discussed the many potential challenges faced by the host nation (such as securing funding, coordination of accommodation and travel for representatives of multiple countries, etc.) over lunch with Simon, an observer from Switzerland, who is greatly involved in the planning for the 2016 IPhO, and Eli and Pavel, team leaders from Israel, who will host the 2019 IPhO.
In tomorrow's final entry I'll be discussing the results of the UK students, and the competitors in general, and reflecting on this 46th IPhO.

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