The IYPT-participant, Oskari Jyrkinen, has written a report about his impressions from the IYPT 2019. Furthermore, he explained why he participated at the SYPT.


Experience report IYPT 2019

This year’s IYPT was held in Warsaw, Poland and the students representing Switzerland were Daniel Gotsmann, Manuel Antoinette, Oskari Jyrkinen, Michael Klein and Alisa Miloglyadova. As all the students representing Switzerland, I got into the team by qualifying for the team at the qualification round where the best nine students of the national tournament participated.

There are different reasons why I decided to participate at the SYPT and eventually IYPT. First of all, I really enjoy trying to understand physical phenomena and the feeling you get when you successfully model such a phenomenon mathematically after having spent hours, days, if not weeks experimenting and pondering is just priceless. In addition, I saw it as a unique opportunity to develop my presenting and critical thinking skills, as they are an integral part of this tournament. By participating at the IYPT you also get very competent coaching which is undoubtedly very valuable.

The opening ceremony started off with lectures and speeches from IYPT officials and renowned physicists. As one might imagine, many students were very tired after the last preparations from the night before. Nevertheless, the students were woken up from their dozy state of mind when a group of dancers and singers entered the auditorium and started a traditional Polish singing and dance performance and encouraged the whole audience to dance along, cheering up the mood in the auditorium.

Finally, the time came for the forming of the physics fights. One by one the teams’ captains had to randomly pick a sculpture with a number beneath assigning each team for a fight. When it was time for our captain, Daniel Gotsmann, to pick a sculpture, the emotions in the auditorium were high as Singapore turned out to be our rival in the first fight. On our way out of the auditorium other teams wished us luck for the first fight against serial winner Singapore.

Nevertheless, we had a comparably strong first fight which provided us with a great deal of confidence. In the following days our performance and team work kept improving as we climbed up the ranking. The day before the fight against Brazil and Iran, the tension was high as we had to make sure not to be surpassed by our strong rivals and not to lose our third place in the total ranking. All three teams in this fourth fight had a strong performance which made it one of the most memorable and exciting fights.

After all the preliminary rounds the moment of truth was about to be revealed. Nervously we were waiting for the scores of the last preliminary round to be published. Great was our delight when we heard that we had won the gold medal of this year’s IYPT by qualifying for the final.

After an intense day of preparation, the day of the final came where we had to face China, Germany and Singapore. We performed well, coming third, only 1.8 points behind the winning team Singapore. Finally, all the hard work, missed excursions and lack of sleep had paid off.

After a great tournament, the whole Swiss team decided to stay in Warsaw for the weekend to enjoy and celebrate the gold medal as well as to catch up on the missed excursions.

I would like to thank both team leaders, Emilie Hertig and Markus Niese, as well as Eric Schertenleib and Daniel Keller for their competent support before and throughout the whole tournament. Their contribution and dedication undoubtedly played an immense role in achieving the results we did.