The 9th Annual Yale Physics Olympics to be Held October 21

New Haven, Conn. — The 9th Annual Yale Physics Olympics for High School Students will be held October 21 in the 217 Prospect Street, Science Hill Quadrangle.

Fifty teams of high school students from 40 schools in Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York will compete in a series of physics related events beginning at 10 a.m. and culminating with an awards ceremony from 3:30 to 4 p.m. The public is invited as spectators and to cheer for their favorite team.

The program involves students and their teachers in a full Saturday of physics challenges. Using simple equipment and plenty of imagination, teams compete to design and carry out solutions to a set of five experimental problems, some in indoor laboratories and some outside in the Kline Tower Quadrangle — all designed to show the students that doing science, and physics in particular, is fun!

The event has become so popular in recent years that there is now a waiting list for teams interested in participating. To make this program as accessible as possible and avoid the need for a registration fee to the participants, the Yale University Physics Department and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute sponsor it. For further information, contact program administrator Peter Parker at 203-432-3099.

Each year the specific events are fashioned and run by student and faculty volunteers. For the past two years, one of the organizers has been an undergraduate physics major who first participated in this program as a contestant in 2002. Many of the undergraduates who help in running these events are only a year or two older than the competing students and are ideal role models for them.

“This program has clearly had a very positive impact on the students, teachers, and schools involved, and in 2003 it was recognized in an Elm-Ivy award,” said Parker, professor of physics and astronomy at Yale. “Many of the participating schools even bring alternate team members and “observers” as a way to involve more of their students - perhaps training them for next year.”

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Media Contact

Janet Rettig Emanuel: janet.emanuel@yale.edu, 203-432-2157