Behind Four Consecutive Gold Medals of Physics No.2 High School of ECNU gained

After our student Wang Yichuan won the 62nd International Mathematics Olympiad gold medal with the only full score in the world, good news came from Beijing that five members of the Chinese national team including Shi Jingzhe from our school all won the gold medal in the 51st International Physics Olympiad, which was also the 30th International Olympic gold medal won by the students of our school, No.2 High School of East China Normal University.

▲  51st IPhO China National Team (Shi Jingzhe, first from the left)

Since 2018, No.2 High School of East China Normal University has realized the dream of “four consecutive gold medals” of Physics Olympiad. Behind the shining honor, what “secret weapon” is hidden?

I interviewed Shi Jingzhe and his coach Fan Xiaohui.

Shi Jingzhe

Winning the gold medal of the 51st International Physics Olympiad, the gold medal of the 37th national Physics Competition for high school students, selected into the national team, also winning the silver medal of the 36th national Physics Competition for high school students, the first prize of the 36th national high school students’ Physics Competition Shanghai Regional, and the third prize of the 35th national high school students’ Physics Competition Shanghai Regional, escorted to the computer science experiment class – Yao Class of Tsinghua University

Q1 When did you start to learn Physics competition? Can you talk about your competition study experience?

I started to learn Physics competition from grade 6 at an ordinary level from the beginning. Through further study, I became more and more interested in Physics and my grades gradually improved. On the third day of junior high school, I won the first prize in Shanghai junior high school Physics competition.

Q2 What other interests do you have besides Physics?

EM… maybe playing video games and watching TV and I like collecting toys such as transformers and Gundam models.

Q3 What preparations have you made for this competition?

The two training sessions at Tsinghua University, one from November to December last year and the other from June to July this year were the actual preparations for the competition. In the first stage, we studied Physics of University level such as four types of Mechanics, and in the second stage, we simulated real problem training in full accordance with the requirements of the formal competition. Also, members of the national team practiced more than ten sets of theoretical and experimental questions before the competition.

Q4 Was the competition difficult?

The theory questions were relatively simple while the experimental ones were difficult. We connected the flat plate to the circuit board welding the components to be tested and the measuring circuit in the two experimental questions and used a special app for data recording and processing.  Learning to use the app itself took some time.  Also, the number of questions in these two experiments was relatively large.

Q5 How did the learning experience at No.2 High School of East China Normal University and the guidance of the competition coach help you?

These achievements are inseparable from the guidance of the competition coaches and the learning environment of No.2 High School of East China Normal University. The head coach of this session was Fan Xiaohui.  He gave targeted guidance to each of us in the Physics competition group according to different stages in the three years of senior high school and taught us how to improve learning methods and how to develop strength to make up for weakness.  Another teacher Fang Xianfa helped me a lot.  He communicated with me at the critical moment and helped me to adjust my state.

At the same time, many excellent students in the Physics competition group of our school, No.2 High School of East China Normal University helped each other and formed a good learning atmosphere and made common progress as a team.

Q6 What learning experience can you share with us?

I made progress every year and results improved from the third in the province when I was in grade 10 to the national silver medal when I was in grade 11.  And in grade 12, I was selected into the Chinese national team and won the gold medal in the International Olympiad. I don’t think my talent most outstanding.  I made gradual progress through hard work.

When it comes to experiences, I strictly implement study plans and make full use of fragmented time. I think about what to learn or consolidate every week and assign tasks to each day.  Every day after lunch and dinner, I go to the library and study for about 40 minutes.  It is not a long period of time, but enough for me thoroughly understand six to seven questions, and the total time accumulated day after day is substantial.

Q7 After winning the gold medal of the International Olympic Games, do you have any other goals in the future?

I will keep using the learning methods and scientific spirit gained in the process of learning Physics, and I will continue to study hard, give full play to my potentials and strive to make contributions to people’s happy life.

▲ Teachers Shi JIngzhe and Fan Xiaohui

Fan Xiaohui

Physics teacher of supreme level, high school teacher of senior level, coach of China Physics Olympic competition, awarded the National May Day Labor Medal, coached seven students, who won the gold medal of the International Physics Olympiad, five students, who won the gold medal of the Asian Physics Olympiad, and more than 40 students who entered the national training team

Q1 Can you introduce about the basic situation of the competition? How difficult were the questions?

The competition lasted two days, with experimental questions on the 19th, one day off and the theoretical questions on the 21st. The experimental questions were slightly difficult, one of which was to investigate on students’ application of experimental equipment.  Shi Jingzhe didn’t play well, but he quickly adjusted his state and scored relatively higher on the theoretical questions.

Q2 What led to Shi Jingzhe’s success?

Shi Jingzhe is a down-to-earth student.  No matter how simple the knowledge is, he listens very carefully in class with solid basic skills.  He always seriously reflects on the mistakes and never makes the same mistake.

His grades were not among the top level when he just entered the school, but he had goals and plans in study, made rational use of time, and caught up step by step.  Also, he made a harmonious relationship with his classmates, and the help and encouragement from his peers were also an important reason for his success.

Q3 No.2 High School of East China Normal University has won “four consecutive gold medals” of the International Physics Olympiad, and what experience do you have in training students?

No.2 High School of East China Normal University has always attached great importance to the cultivation of top-notch innovative talents in basic academic subjects, and it has formed a relatively mature model. As far as the Physics group is concerned, we have a variety of teaching forms such as small class teaching and cross-grade class observation, which provide students with personalized choices, making it possible for students with different foundations to develop well individually.

In addition, the inheritance of the gold medal spirit is the advantage of No.2 High School of East China Normal University.  Students in the next few sessions were encouraged and became more confident, knowing that senior peers won the gold medal.  Our senior-grade students often give questions and lectures to junior-grade students, share experience and give full play to the power of examples.  All these, I guess are the “secret weapons” for us to win over ourselves and create brilliance constantly.

▲ (from left to right) Principal Li Zhicong, teacher Fang Xianfa, student Shi Jingzhe and teacher Fan Xiaohui

Our school hereby would like to extend warm congratulations to Shi Jingzhe and his coach again!

The 51st International Physics Olympiad was hosted by Lithuania.  Affected by the pandemic, the competition was conducted by online examination organized by regions, and nearly 400 students from 76 countries and regions participated in it.

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