Friday, November 24, 2017

Bangladesh Physics Olympiad 2018

Registration for Bangladesh Physics Olympiad 2018 is going on. There will be three categories in this year. Students who are studying at class 7 and 8 will be in the 'A' category; Students who are studying at class 9 and 10 will be in the 'B' category; Students from 11th and 12th grade will be in the 'C' category. 

Students who appeared H.S.C or A Levels exam this year will not be able to participate in any circumstances. Based on the performance of training camp, top 5 students will be selected for next year's International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) 2018 to be held in Portugal.

For online registration, Click Here.

Check these Preparatory Materials and Books.

Past papers from IPhOs and National Physics Olympiads: Click Here.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

How I prepared for the IESO and what helped me at Internationals: 6 Tips

Hello readers! I am Katherine Zhang from the United States of America. I was a Silver Medalist at the International Earth Science Olympiad 2016, Mie, Japan. In this article, I will suggest to the future participants of USA and around the world some preparatory guidelines based on my own experience. 

1. Start Early

The IESO covers a broad range of topics, including but not limited to: geology and mineralogy, sedimentology, meteorology and climatology, solar system astronomy, and remote sensing. You may not have even heard of nor studied some of these areas. Beginning early and establishing a schedule by which you’ll study is the basis for succeeding in the IESO.
2. Focus on application of material, as opposed to memorization

Of course, you’ll need to know the basics of every topic you study. And learning essential information may involve an initial period of memorization which precedes internalization of that information. But beyond that period, pure memorization won’t take you far; most of the competition is based on application of material. For example: rather than asking you to regurgitate the percentage composition of basalt, a question might ask you to identify a type of rock based on the nearby structural geology. Then (in multiple parts), it might ask you to use the information and data you’ve gathered to address real societal needs and concerns, such as disaster relief.

3. Use Practical Aides

Reading textbooks isn’t enough. Invest in kits, especially for rocks and minerals, to help you learn hands-on. The IESO competition involves identification of rocks and minerals samples, and your first-hand experience is vital in helping you complete those sections. Kits are not always available nor affordable, so if they’re beyond your reach, use visuals to aid you in your studying.

4. Search for application in your daily life in order to strengthen and supplement the information you’re learning

Hey, maybe I’m just a weird rock person, but I look for application of my knowledge wherever I go. Transfer the information from your computer screen to a tangible platform. Keep your eyes open; identify instances in your everyday life in which you can stop to visualize the information you’ve learned. For example, at the beach, you can see ripple marks in action. Pause to identify the rocks at the side of the road (or maybe in a safer place). Quite possibly, there’ll come a time in which you’ll recall vital information by remembering a specific time you applied your knowledge in a real-world setting.

5. Look at old IESO Tests

Refer to past tests to get an idea of the types of questions you’ll be asked. See the bottom of this post for links to those resources.
6. Recognize that the IESO is based in cooperation

Medals are great and shiny, but they represent only individual accomplishment. Team achievement is equally, if not more, important. During the IESO, you will participate in the International Team Field Investigation and the Earth Science Project. Both of these require you to work in a group. If you refuse to recognize that the basis of your success in these portions of the competition is your ability to compromise and connect with your global peers, then you’ll have walked away from the competition with a fraction of the knowledge and benefit you would have otherwise gained. This focus on international camaraderie is what will get you not only titles in the competition, but also bring you into a global network of friends that you’ll come to treasure, and that will take you farther than any medal will.
A list of books that I’ve used

Smithsonian Fossil Guide
Meteorology Today by C. Ahrens
The Complete Guide to Rocks and Minerals by Hermes House
Syllabus: Link Past Tests/Papers: Link

Pathway to the BioCamp

You guys probably have heard that the Bangladesh Biology Olympiad is going to take place soon. Those who are going to excel at the national round will make it to the BioCamp. This writing is a short treatise on guiding the BioCamp aspirants.

Let’s get straight to the business. Firstly, Campbell Biology (Download) is considered as the Bible of for Biology Olympiad's preparation. When you’ve the best book in hand, you shouldn’t waste a single minute reading other non-comprehensive books. That will be counterproductive. Given there are around 90 days remaining for the National, and Campbell has 56 chapters, if you study religiously about one to two chapters each day with proper understanding, you'll most likely make it to the national camp.

Only reading won't suffice, you need to properly understand the concepts- which is a prerequisite for solving problems in any scientific Olympiad. Now, while studying the book, you may come across concepts which are poorly explained. In such case, you can watch videos from 10 Minute SchoolArmando HasudunganAll About Molecular Biology, or Khan Academy to clarify your understanding. Also, take as many notes as possible while preparing for the competition. 

Finally, do not forget to solve problems from other countries' national Olympiads (i.e. Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, British - they have papers uploaded online. Just Google or look at the Google Drive for Biology Olympiad at SOB). If you work for the next couple of months with determination, you'll surely be able to secure a spot at the National Camp for Bangladesh Biology Olympiad. 

So, what are you waiting for? Buckle up your seat belt, and start your journey for the BioCamp. If luck is on your side, you might also make it to the national team for International Biology Olympiad! Best wishes.

Resources: Campbell Biology Slides (Link), Campbell Biology Short Notes (Link), Science Olympiad Blog All Biology Olympiad Resources Google Drive (Link), Biology Olympiad Textbooks for Download (Link). 

Pathway to Bangladesh Physics Olympiad

Hello readers! My name is Munirul Alam, and I was a regional champion of the Bangladesh Physics Olympiad in 2016 and 2017. I’m writing this blogpost in order to share my experience, which I hope will be helpful to guide you in your preparation.

So let’s come to the main point. In order to win a medal at the Physics Olympiad, you don’t have to be a superhuman or something. People who participate in PhO and win there are all normal people just like you. So, how do they manage to triumph over the battle?

In this post, I will try to answer your question. First of all, there are three categories in BDPhO, and I will divide my post in three segments based on each category. 

Three categories in the Bangladesh Physics Olympiad are Category A (Class 7-8), Category B(Class 9-10) and Category C (Class 11-12).

Category A

It’s very nice to know that you are fascinated about physics at such an early age! Usually people who start early end up as one of the most successful ones. পদার্থবিজ্ঞান প্রথম পাঠ by Dr. Muhammamad Zafar Iqbal will be a nice and easy book to start off. It contains a lot of good problems, and the text is more accessible to beginners. You can also going through the class 9-10 physics textbook. But I personally prefer the first book. 

As a beginner, you can also start with non-calculus physics textbooks like "College Physics by Alan Giambattista, Betty McCarthy Richardson, and Robert C. Richardson” or "Physics by John D. Cutnell, Kenneth W. Johnson”.

Category B

If you are in Category B, your first and foremost task will be finishing the class 9-10 Physics textbook properly. You can also have a look at the older version of the textbook, which used to be little more comprehensive. When you’re done with 9-10 textbook, you can move on to building up good problem solving skills. You can find previous problems here (Click Here). Pause.

Now that you’re done with your physics textbook, you should aim higher and start reading either “Physics by Halliday, Resnick, Krane (HRK)” or “University Physics by Young and Freedman”.  Keep in mind that these books are calculus-based physics texts, and a prior knowledge of Calculus will give you an upper hand. This note by Emroz Khan (one of the past problem setters of Physics Olympiad) will be helpful in this regard (Click Here). Or, you can read any good Calculus textbook or take online course to solidify your mathematical knowledge.

Category C

Now it’s time for Category C. Well, if you are in category C and wish to do well in BDPhO, you should have finished HRK or University Physics by now. You should start studying An Introduction to Mechanics (Kleppner and Kolenkow), Electricity and Magnetism Third Edition (E.M Purcell and David Morin), and Thermal Physics (Schroeder) to strengthen your understanding on particular topics.

Also, you should start solving the past IPhO Problems , which can be found here (Click Here). A lot of other stuffs can be found at the BdPhO website (Website) and Science Olympiad Blog's server (Click Here). Quora (Link) has a lot of nice answers on Physics Olympiads ranging from national to IPhO. You may want to check those.

Hope that you’ll rock on the Physics Olympiad! All the very best.

Written by Munirul Alam.
Edited by Shahreer Zahan.