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Passion for physics and maths: Godesberg student breaks record for US universities

Passion for physics and maths : Godesberg student breaks record for US universities

17-year-old Supratim Kundu attends Year 12 at Bonn International School. His skills in the subjects of physics and maths could now lead him directly to America.

When Supratim Kundu gets up on this Monday, the first day of the holidays begins for him, as for all pupils in NRW. Finally time to pursue his favourite pastimes to the full. In the case of the 17-year-old from Bad Godesberg, these are questions about physics and mathematics. "You can explain everything," is how the student from Bonn International School (BIS) in Plittersdorf explains his preferences.

His knowledge in both subjects has currently led to him sending out applications for universities in America. "I did quite well on the SAT tests," he modestly describes what BIS spokesperson Natalie Niklas calls "incredible results". Participation in so-called Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) are a basic requirement for admission to a US university. "In physics he achieved the highest score of 800 points, in maths he was almost perfect with 790 points," Niklas explains. Every year, around 2.2 million students take the test, with only about 500 achieving the maximum score. This means that he a place at a university is as good as certain for him. He does not want to reveal which one he is applying to for computer science. A slight dose of superstition…

The family came to Bonn from Central India six years ago

But who is the person behind the student who particularly appreciates atomic physics, kinetics and mechanics? The sophomore came to Bonn from Central India with his parents six years ago. "My father works here as an engineer," says Supratim. First he lived in Godesberg City, now the family has moved to Mehlem. "There was no 'aha' moment for me with maths and physics, rather a gradual development," says the 17-year-old.

However, a large part of it is due to his teacher Daniel Hudson, who teaches both subjects. "He takes a very practical approach to things," says the student - in English. "I feel more confident in the language, but German is a compulsory language at the BIS," says Supratim, who states that he does not want to study in Germany because of his language skills (see info box). "The probability is high that I will come back afterwards," announces the upper school pupil. Because he likes Bad Godesberg and feels safe here, despite the sometimes conjured up uncertainty in the district. His parents should be happy, they are reluctant to let their son leave.

The head of the secondary school does not only find words of praise for Supratim as a pupil

He does not deny being a little nerd. But secondary school principal Will Tragert does not see the social deficits attributed to these people: "He is not only a wonderful student, but also a great person, someone you want to be friends with or work with later. A teacher's verdict that Supratim can certainly live well with.

In his free time he is involved in the boy scouts and plays chess at the Godesberg Chess Club. "It's a good way to relax." Just like with PC games, especially Among Us, which is about exposing a cheat on a spaceship - before he takes out all the crew members. He also goes to kebab shops with friends.

He conducts experiments that trick gravity

But he also enjoys being in one of the physics laboratories at his school. For the technical work he has been working on fluid mechanics, reversing a well-known experiment. "I held a tennis ball under an inverted funnel, fed air from above with a machine and then pulled my hand away," explains Supratim. However, the ball did not fall to the ground despite gravity, but remained in the funnel. "I then developed a formula that calculates how heavy an object must be for it to fall anyway". He likes it when experiments succeed. "Because it is much harder to explain why something doesn't work."

(Original text: Silke Elbern / Translation: Mareike Graepel)