The science talents of Anastasia Kolesnikova ’18 have gained recognition on both the national and international stage. The impressive TASIS IB student will be one of just 100 high school students in the world to participate in the distinguished Barcelona International Youth Science Challenge (BIYSC) this July, and she has also advanced to the final round of the Swiss Young Physicists’ Tournament.
Kolesnikova, who has been at TASIS since grade five, had to withstand a rigorous application process—submitting a personal statement, letter of motivation, description of scientific background, fundraising plan, transcript, and two letters of recommendation—in order to be considered for one of the ten spaces in the BIYSC project category she applied for: working with Drosophila (commonly known as fruit flies) to investigate neurodegenerative diseases.
Anastasia has an excellent ability to understand concepts and think outside the box. She can quickly connect ideas between models and apply her ideas to solve problems.
“I was very surprised when I found out I’d been selected,” said Kolesnikova, who plans to study biochemistry at a university in the UK after she graduates from TASIS next spring. “I’m excited to get hands-on research experience in Barcelona because this is the field I want to go into. I don’t think many people my age have an opportunity like this.”
The BIYSC aims “to stimulate scientific talent among young people from all over the world, and to encourage their enthusiasm for pursuing scientific research and careers in science.” It is a two-week program designed to offer students aged 16–18 a world-class experience by working on research projects, participating in scientific lectures and debates, and enjoying the company of like-minded peers.
Kolesnikova also recently found success at the Swiss Young Physicists’ Tournament, a highly regarded competition open to physics enthusiasts from secondary schools anywhere in Switzerland. She was awarded third place (out of 61 entrants) after presenting her findings from an investigation of the parameters that affect the forces acting on two wet glass plates that are placed together. This included a theoretical and a practical approach.
The third-place finish advances Kolesnikova to the next stage, where she will battle for the right to represent Switzerland at the International Young Physicists’ Tournament in Singapore this July.
The state-of-the-art Campo Science Center has helped Kolesnikova soar to new heights.
Alec Ogilvie, High School Science Department Chair and Kolesnikova’s IB Chemistry HL teacher, was thrilled—if not surprised—to see his standout pupil’s accomplishments.
“It is a pleasure to see Anastasia so motivated and involved in these competitions, and I’m sure her success will continue,” he said. “She is a highly motivated student in class and always illustrates curiosity and interest. She has an excellent ability to understand concepts and think outside the box. She can quickly connect ideas between models and apply her ideas to solve problems. These innovative skills enable her to perform very well in scientific competitions and should take her far in the science and engineering world.”
Kolensikova does more than just excel in the sciences. She speaks four languages, is a member of the High School Choir, was one of the student actors chosen to perform in the last summer, was named Most Valuable Player for the Varsity Swimming team this winter, writes articles for the TASIS Blog, and is an exceptional humanities student.
“I would say that Anastasia’s passion and talents lie in literature if I didn’t know of all the ways she excels in the sciences and especially physics,” said Dr. Chris Love, who taught her in Honors World Literature last year. “What’s most impressive about Anastasia is her willingness to reconcile her talents in the humanities and sciences.”