Olympíuleikar í eðlisfræði

3rd July 1998

Physics Olympiad in Iceland 1998

Góðir áheyrendur!

Á þessari stundu hér, við setningu 29. Olympíuleikanna í eðlisfræði lýkur í raun margra ára ströngu undirbúningsstarfi fjölmargra einstaklinga undir þessa miklu alþjóðlegu keppni. Vil ég færa öllum einlægar þakkir, sem að því mikla verki hafa komið. Er ég viss um, að þeir hafa ástæðu til að gleðjast yfir góðum árangri að loknum keppnisdögunum sjálfum. Einnig þakka ég öllum, sem hafa gert stundina hér jafnánægjulega og glæsilega og raun ber vitni. Síðast en ekki síst óska ég íslensku keppendunum góðs gengis - hugur okkar verður með þeim næstu daga.

Dear students and leaders - ladies and gentlemen!

Welcome to Iceland to participate in the 29th Physics Olympiad now held here for the first time.

Thousands of young people around the world have participated in pre-selection contests to enable your participation in the actual event starting here today. In the Olympiad ahead of us some of you will win prizes. However, just by being here, all of you already have acquired the recognition of being winners.

Physics is a part of fundamental science. The utilization of physics is felt all over our society; in for example geophysical exploration, the harnessing of Iceland's resources and in high technology where knowledge has become an industry on its own.

A part of the program you will experience in Iceland consists of visits to twenty-four companies and institutions engaged in scientific work. I thank all those who have generously opened their doors to make your stay more pleasant and informative.

I am confident that your visit will increase the interest of young Icelandic people in physics. The Government of Iceland also wants to make use of this unique opportunity to show its determination to strengthen physics teaching. To this end we have for example decided that the experimental apparatus acquired for use in the experimental examination at the Olympiad will be distributed to colleges around Iceland after the event. In this way we contribute to strengthening the experimental facilites at every college.

Your role in the future will be to ensure that people make use of science for the benefit of mankind and you will be one more generation to encounter and perhaps solve some of the fundamental questions concerning the energy and forces of the material world.

The Icelandic education system is not very different from the one practiced in our neighbouring countries.

It is now being reorganized and the essence of the new school policy is an attempt at creating an efficient but flexible education system, a system that focuses on the needs of individual students, increases student choice but at the same time instills academic discipline, good working skills, healthy competition and enhanced student responsibility in their studies. All these elements aim at preparing young people for quality life in the modern information society where every individual has learned and adopted the art of living.

You could not have become participants in the Olympiad here in Iceland without having confidence, determination and the faculty for making independent decisions. Critical thinking, healthy judgement and assessment of values along with tolerance lay the foundation of success. I wish you all great success here in Reykjavík.

I want to pay tribute and extend my sincere thanks to the organizing committee and the management of the Olympiad which has for two years prepared this event. I know that they have done everything to ensure that your visit and stay here will be most enjoyable and educational. You will experience the adventure of the long summer days in Iceland and the bright nights. By hosting about three hundred young physicists, Iceland will certainly experience a week of brightness!

In this spirit I hereby declare the 29th Physics Olympiad in Iceland 1998 opened!