Christ Church Grammar School student physicist earns a spot at Asian Physics Olympiad

Year 12 Christ Church Grammar School student Benjamin Davison-Petch one of eight Australian students set to represent the country at the Asian Physics Olympiad. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au   d492270d
Year 12 Christ Church Grammar School student Benjamin Davison-Petch one of eight Australian students set to represent the country at the Asian Physics Olympiad. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d492270d

LEARNING the first two years of university level physics in 16 days has earned Christ Church Grammar School student Benjamin Davison-Petch a spot at the Asian Physics Olympiad (APF).

The 17-year-old was one of eight top performing student physicists selected to represent Australia at Asia’s toughest physics competition for high schoolers.

The Year 12 ATAR student said he spent 13 hours a day at a two-week summer school in January learning physics two years advanced for his age.

He was joined by another 24 students, who also completed the intensive training at the Adelaide National University (ANU), but was the only WA student chosen to proceed to the APF to be held in Adelaide in May.

“We did a lab exam for three hours and the theory exam had six or seven questions and we had five hours to complete the exam – we then found out who was successful for the APF,” he said.

“The main worry is when you go from school physics to summer school and you realise it’s quite hard.”

The Mt Claremont resident said preparing for the APF while also balancing his ATAR studies was a juggling act.

“Training in lead up to the APF has included a bunch of revision sets with 10 problems each, but each is hard and about a two hour bash,” he said.

“I don’t have any time anymore – I didn’t have any before but I’ve got even less now.”

He will compete against another seven Australian students as well as more than 200 of Asia’s smartest kids in an effort to win gold.

“I need to change my expectations of myself a bit because I’m surrounded by some very intelligent people – I’m used to that mindset now that it’s going to be tough,” he said.