About the International Math and Science Olympiad 2019 (IMSO 2019)

The 16th International Mathematics and Science Olympiad (IMSO 2019) was successfully held in Hanoi. This is the first time Vietnam has hosted this exam. Taking place in Hanoi from November 27th, 2019 to November 30th, 2019, the exam attracted candidates and observers from 24 countries and territories around the world.

In recent years, Hanoi has made strong strides in global integration, opening the door to welcome international friends through organizing international examinations such as the Hanoi Open Mathematics Contest (HOMC), hosting the International Biological Olympiad. With the consent of the Government and the Ministry of Education and Training, Hanoi City hosted the 16th International Mathematics and Science Olympiad (IMSO 2019) for elementary students under the age of 13.

IMSO (International Mathematics and Science Olympiad for Primary School) is an annual International Mathematics and Science Olympiad in English for elementary students around the world, with the goal of helping elementary students develop their highest ability in Mathematics and Science. The first IMSO was organized by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia in 2003 with 11 participated countries. By 2011, the exam began to expand to many countries outside Indonesia. Since then, the competition has been organized by the IMSO Committee in every host country and has become a prestigious international playground annually, attracting more than 500 excellent candidates from more than 20 countries and territories in the world.

In 2019, Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam – was awarded the right to host the IMSO 2019. This year’s exam brought together more than 1.7 thousand participants, including 719 candidates, 293 experts, officials, teachers, international observers from 24 countries and territories around the world.

The opening ceremony of this competition was solemnly organized at My Dinh National Convention Center with the participation of Mr. Hoang Trung Hai, Politburo Member and Secretary of Hanoi Party Committee; Meritorious Teacher, Doctor Nguyen Huu Do – Deputy Minister of Education and Training; Mr. Ngo Van Quy, Vice Chairman of Hanoi People’s Committee; Representatives of Embassies of Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Sri Lanka.

With the topic “Thinking – Creativity – Outstanding Skills”, IMSO 2019 is divided into 2 groups: Group A (International) has 352 contestants and 197 experts, officials, teachers, observers of 24 countries and territories such as USA, Bulgaria, Singapore, Cambodia, China, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Taiwan …; Group B (City) has 367 contestants and 96 officials, teachers from 22 districts, towns in Hanoi City.

The principle of organizing the examination is implemented in accordance with the IMSO’s International Olympic Committee. Accordingly, candidates taking the exam in each subject of Mathematics and Science of Group A will participate in 3 sections: Theory 1 (Time: 60 minutes; Question type: Fill out the answer in the answer sheet); Theory 2 (Time: 90 minutes; Question type: Detailed explanation directly on the exam questions); Discovering Math, practicing Science (Time: 120 minutes. Question type: Fill out the answers and detailed answers in the answer sheet). Candidates must not use computers and any documents. The judging and criticism are done publicly. For candidates taking Examination of Group B, they will only take part in Theory 1 and Theory 2.

For 5 days in Hanoi, IMSO 2019’s contestants not only performed in Math and Science tests, they also participated in the Cultural Gala program (November 29th). The students brought a lot of unique performances with personal identities and meanings, expressed through music, costumes. Cultural Gala program showed that students are not only good at math but also spend time taking part in extracurricular activities to develop comprehensive intellectual, both aesthetically and physically. This is also an opportunity for contestants to exchange and learn about cultures of different countries. In order to motivate the contestants, the organizers have awarded the Creative Prize for Indonesia 1 and India; Best Costume Prize for Mongolia. The Overall First Prize of the cultural program belonged to Indonedia 1 team.

Contestants and members of the team from 24 countries and territories were also involved in exploring Bat Trang pottery village (Hanoi) and Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. In those places, they not only observed, learned but also created their own pottery products or played traditional Vietnamese games. The visit contributed to promote and introduce with international delegations about the beauty of Vietnamese culture and people in general and Hanoi City in particular.

The closing ceremony and awarding ceremony of the contest were held on the afternoon of November 30th. For the results of the competition in Group A (international group), the Organizing Committee awarded 127 medals to students taking the Maths exam, including 21 Gold Medals, 42 Silver Medals, 64 Bronze Medals. The Overall Championship in Maths belongs to Atthaseth Kanokwutthithumrong from Thailand; the Champion in the Theory exam belongs to Christopher Bao from the United States and the Discovery Prize belongs to Nguyen Dang Dzung from Vietnam.

In the Science exam, the Organizing Committee awarded 106 medals, including 17 gold medals, 34 silver medals, and 55 bronze medals. The Overall Championship in Science belongs to Chu Binh Minh from Vietnam; The Champion in Practical exam belongs to Supawit Laksanawilat from Thailand and the Champion in the Theory exam belongs to Chin Hao Ching Dylan from Singapore

Summarizing both Mathematics and Science of Group A, Vietnamese students won a total of 15 Gold Medals, 14 Silver Medals and 7 Bronze Medals in the IMSO 2019.

In addition to 352 contestants participating in the group A (International Group), IMSO 2019 also expanded to Group B (domestic group) with 367 candidates from different districts of Hanoi City to compete with the aim to create an environment for students to test in an international standard. For the result of Group B, the Organizing Committee awarded a total of 131 medals including 22 Gold Medals, 46 Silver Medals, 63 Bronze Medals to students taking Maths exam; 109 medals including 18 Gold medals, 36 Silver medals, 55 Bronze medals for students taking Science exam.

Some schools with several students achieving high results are: Hanoi – Asmterdam High school for the Gifted; Thanh Xuan Secondary School; Nguyen Sieu Secondary and High School; Archimedes Secondary and High School; Trung Vuong Secondary School; Newton Secondary and High School….

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Dr. Chu Xuan Dung – Director of Hanoi Department of Education and Training, Head of the Organizing Committee highly appreciated the efforts of each contestant, and affirmed: “The Organizing Committee has put much effort into preparing this significant event. The organization of IMSO 2019 is not only to promote the learning movement but also is the best opportunity to share and enrich our knowledge of Mathematics, Science and Culture”.

Doctor Chu Xuan Dung emphasized: “After 5 days of experience and exchange within the framework of IMSO 2019, I believe this is not only an unforgettable memory but also an expression of passion for Mathematics and Science in this modern world; This is an opportunity for young people from many countries and cultures to learn and exchange knowledge to enhance understanding, solidarity, friendship and close cooperation between countries and regions, which helps build a world of peace, friendship, for the benefit and prosperity of every person, every nation, every country”.