Event: 700+ high school students contend for honours at UBC Physics Olympics

More than 700 high school students and teachers from across B.C. will meet at UBC Saturday for the 46th annual UBC Physics Olympics, where they will show off their physics expertise and experimental design skills.

Teams of students will compete in six events that test hands-on skills and scientific concepts including:

  • Testing coolers and solar-powered cars that the students have previously assembled
  • Teams will also compete in two labs: sound and vibration, and optics
  • “Quizzics,” a quiz show
  • Fermi questions, inspired by the great 20th century physicist Enrico Fermi, where students try to answer order-of-magnitude questions, such as “What is the total mass of the students competing in the Physics Olympics today?”

The goals are 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 UBC Physics Olympics is one of the largest and oldest high school physics competitions in North America. 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 Physics Olympics alumni, volunteer their time.

Event: 46th annual UBC Physics Olympics

Date/Time: Saturday, March 9, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Event website: https://physoly.phas.ubc.ca/


Cooler competition
Hennings Building, Room 202, 6224 Agricultural Road
Map and parking: https://maps.ubc.ca/?652

Solar-powered car competition
Hebb Building, Room 100, 2045 East Mall
Map and parking: https://maps.ubc.ca/?code=VPOI10439

Fermi questions
Hebb Building, Room 112, 2045 East Mall
Map and parking: https://maps.ubc.ca/?code=VPOI10439

Hennings Building, Room 201, 6224 Agricultural Road
Map and parking: http://www.maps.ubc.ca/?652

Quizzics final at 3:30 pm
Woodward Theatre 2, 2194 Health Sciences Mall
Map and parking: http://www.maps.ubc.ca/?473

Interview opportunities:

  • High school students and teachers
  • Mike Hasinoff, co-chair and professor of UBC physics and astronomy. Contact: hasinoff@physics.ubc.ca; 604-822-2360
  • Aaron Boley, co-chair and professor of UBC physics and astronomy. Contact: acboley@physics.ubc.ca, 604-827-2641
  • Marina Milner-Bolotin, lead organizer of UBC Physics Olympics and professor of curriculum and pedagogy. Contact: marina.milner-bolotin@ubc.ca; 604-417-4035