High school students compete in “Physics Olympics”

Event: More than 400 high school students and teachers from across B.C. will compete in the 39th annual UBC Physics Olympics, where they will show off their unique creations to media.

Date/Time: Saturday, March 4, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Photo/Assignment editors: Teams have built rubber band-powered aircrafts and coin sorting devices that work using gravity alone. These creations will be tested as part of Saturday’s event. Teams will also compete in “Quizzics,” a quiz-show run by astronomy professor Jaymie Matthews, who will be dressed in a sorcerer’s robe and regalia.

Locations: 

Aircraft competition, 9:15 a.m.; 10:20 a.m.; 11:10 a.m.; 1 p.m.; 1:50 p.m., 2:40 p.m.
Hebb Building, Room 100
2045 East Mall
Map and parking: http://www.maps.ubc.ca/?656

Coin Sorting Device, 9:15 a.m.; 10:20 a.m.; 11:10 a.m.; 1 p.m.; 1:50 p.m., 2:40 p.m.
Hennings Building, Room 200
6224 Agricultural Road
Map and parking: http://www.maps.ubc.ca/?652 

Quizzics, 9:15 a.m.; 10:20 a.m.; 11:10 a.m.; 1 p.m.; 1:50 p.m., 2:40 p.m.
Hennings Building, Room 201
6224 Agricultural Road
Map and parking: http://www.maps.ubc.ca/?652

Final Quizzics, 3:30 p.m.
Hebb Building Theatre
2045 East Mall
Map and parking: http://www.maps.ubc.ca/?656

Available for interviews:

  • High school students and teachers
  • Tom Mattison, head judge and co-chair for UBC Physics Olympics and professor of physics and astronomy. mattison@physics.ubc.ca, 604-724-5431
  • Marina Milner-Bolotin, lead organizer for UBC Physics Olympics and professor of curriculum and pedagogy. milner-bolotin@ubc.ca; 604-417-4035
  • Mike Hasinoff, co-chair and professor of physics and astronomy.

hasinoff@physics.ubc.ca; 604-726-4108

Background:

The UBC Physics Olympics is one of the largest and oldest high school physics competitions of its kind in North America. Teams of high school students will compete in six events that test hands-on and scientific concepts.  The goal is to help students see how physics is exciting and relevant to our daily lives and to provide students with an opportunity to work together.

The event is organized by students and professors in the department of physics and astronomy and department of curriculum and pedagogy. UBC undergraduate students, many of them former competitors, volunteer their time.