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Phuket science whiz takes prize in astronomy comp

PHUKET: Nawat Sawattong, who won third prize in the International Astronomy Olympiad, returned home to Phuket last Friday (November 2) and was greeted by family and friends.

Sunday 11 November 2012, 05:10PM

Nawat, a grade 9 student at Phuket Wittayalai school, fought off competition from students from 20 other countries to take third prize in the competition.

He was one of five Thai students representing the country at the competition, held in South Korea.

The International Astronomy Olympiad is an annual scientific astronomy challenge for high school students, aged 14 to 18 years-old.

“Initially I was a bit scared, but after the second round I felt better and more confident about the test,” he told The Phuket News.

“I really love physics, [and had] the chance to take part in the IAO,” he said, and in doing so discovered “so many interesting things” that he has pledged to enter again.

“I missed out on the silver medal by only four points, so I will enter again next year.”

Pornsak Jindapon acting Phuket Wittayalai School director told The Phuket News that Nawat, studying in the top science and maths classes, was “very clever”.

“He gets good grades every semester,” he said.

Nawat dreams of one day being a computer engineer, but for now the softly-spoken lad is busy and enjoying school life.

The Phuket Wittayalai School is well-known on the island for its students’ science skills.

The school regularly sends students to take part in science and mathematics competitions, and before Nawat’s achievement, a student from the same school had previously won the International Mathematical Olympiad.



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