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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Biggest test still lies ahead for physics prodigy

Biggest test still lies ahead for physics prodigy

AHUGE feat, both in the academic and international arena, awaits Doung Dyraden at the end of this month.

The 17-year-old student of Baktouk high school says he takes it in his stride; as compared to his initial astonishment when he bagged first place in the recent National Grade 12 Physics Contest.

Doung Dyraden felt the pressure of competition against the top budding scientists from high schools throughout the country, but is now brimming with confidence and determination.

Doung Dyraden will compete against young physicists from all over the world in a contest known as the International Olympiad in Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA). This is the third IOAA, and will take place in Iran from October 17 to 26, and Doung Dyraden is determined to do his country proud.

“For this wonderful contest, the government has offered special training for me and four other candidates.” he said. “The training focuses on our planet Earth and is running from July until October.”

The IOAA competition will certainly be Doung Dyraden’s biggest challenge yet. He adds excitedly, “I aim to succeed in Iran because I understand most of the challenging lessons and am well-equipped with knowledge, heading into the competition.” Doung Dyraden’s story is one of hard work, commitment and, of course, a good deal of natural talent.

Digesting knowledge derived only from teachers at school was never sufficient for Doung Dyraden.

He sets aside three to four hours per night for studying at home, in order to memorise the lessons, carry out research and do extra exercises, which are extended from his lessons.

However, he admits he is afraid of problems that may arise from neglecting his health while studying.

“Knowledge can bring money and is an invaluable property in life. Everyone should try to study hard, but we need to keep ourselves healthy too,” Doung Dyraden believes.

A friend of the physics whiz who goes by the name Bellin asserts that Doung Dyraden is a hardworking and helpful student. He often help his weaker classmates, by coaching them in lessons they may not have understood.

At other times, Doung Dyraden can be found checking the Internet to find out ways of applying for a scholarship to study abroad. The fruits of these labours paid off recently, when he was awarded a 10-day study tour in Japan.

Though Doung Dyraden is often busy with his studies, he still makes time to get involved in social work.

As a member of the Cambodian National Scout Association, Doung Dyraden says he is very happy to be given the opportunity to help less-fortunate Cambodian people.

“I was chosen by my teacher to inform other students about the importance of education.

“Also, on every holiday I am assigned to stand near the traffic lights and inform people about traffic law,” he says, beaming with pride.

“I want to be an engineer when I am older and hope I can use my skills to help the government to develop the country. I wish to have the chance to study engineering in Japan, and that is my next big goal after the IOAA.”

Doung Dyraden’s parents are proud of his achievements and hope he can repeat his victory on the global stage. Dyrada, Doung Dyraden’s father sums up his sentiments: “There were certainly a few tears when we heard that our child won the national contest and was going to represent the country at an international contest.”



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