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Report: New Zealand Young Physicists’ Tournament

The New Zealand Young Physicists Tournament (NZYPT) was held on Saturday 10 June at various venues in Wellington and Auckland. School teams competed face-to-face and via Zoom to debate solutions to a series of seven open-ended problems. The NZYPT is the country’s premier national Physics tournament for secondary schools students.

To gain an in-depth understanding of the problems both Grammar teams spent many hours in the Physics labs both before and after school carrying out practical and theoretical research in their own time. The problems varied from creating mathematical models to predict the motion of a screw as it rolls down a ramp the refraction of water jets through a metal gauze.

Unlike most other science competitions which require students to sit an examination paper, the teams had to design experiments to discover relationships between a range of variables. They then had to condense their understanding into a 12-minute PowerPoint presentation which explained their findings coherently to an opposing school and a panel of judges. In each round of the competition, judges commented that both Grammar teams were able to explain the phenomena they had studied clearly and robustly defend their solutions.

The top Auckland Grammar School team was a standout this year holding a clear lead throughout the three rounds. At the end of the competition, Auckland Grammar School was placed first and second ahead of ACG Parnell who were third overall. This is the third consecutive year that Auckland Grammar School has won the NZYPT trophy.

Senior students T. Gong, Z. Song and R. Madhusudhan (pictured above left to right) crossed stage just before the end of Term 2 to receive their national winners medals, the New Zealand Young Physicists’ Trophy and and the School’s congratulations.

Special thanks to J. Fry, L. McClelland and Head of Physics G. Jennings for their support of the Young Physicists’ Tournament and the students competing.