Peru led the medal table in the recent
, which took place virtually and was organized by El Salvador.
Robert Castillo claimed a gold medal in the competition that brought together the best students from 10 countries in the region such as Mexico, Cuba, Honduras, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico, among others.
To grab the first spot, Castillo successfully passed two test days: one theoretical and the other experimental. Each evaluation lasted 4 hours —a time set to solve three tasks proposed by the organizing committee.
The minor is in senior year at the Lima-based Saco Oliveros High School. Last July, he also managed to claim the first position in the Mesoamerican Physics Olympiad held in Mexico.
"This is my second medal of the year, and I am surprised, but at the same time very happy because I see that my efforts have been paying off. Besides, I have discovered my passion for physical sciences, and I dream one day of reaching NASA," said Castillo, who is also considering applying for scholarships at the best universities in the world.
The teenager, who resides in Lima's San Juan de Miraflores district, received the pleasant news at home. In fact, his mother was very happy for the awarded medal.
Each invited country was represented by a team of up to four students and two professors —one of them as head of delegation.
In addition to Castillo, the Peruvian delegation was made up of Rodrigo Flores (silver medal), Maria Isabel Gutierrez (silver medal), and Manuel Mario Gilvonio (bronze medal).
The Olympiad seeks to stimulate the study of Physics and the development of young talents in this science. The first OCCAFI edition was held in San Jose (Costa Rica) in 2010.