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Physics Olympics Information

Join us for our first PHYSICS OLYMPICS! 

 Click here to register:  Registration for Physics Olympics


The event will be held October 29th, 2011 at the Reynolds Science Center on the lovely Henderson State University campus and is FREE to all participants. 


Who:  Find friends and create teams of 6-8 high school students.  Ask a high school teacher to serve as your coach/advisor!

What: Prepare for some friendly competition and lots of fun!  Choose which of the 4 events you would like to participate in.  For teams choosing to participate in all 4, prizes will be awarded to the schools of the highest scoring teams!  Vernier Scientific has graciously awarded gift certificates to be given to the classrooms of the big winners!


Here are the events:


Catapult – Throw a grapefruit with your own catapult.  The catapult must fit within a cube with sides of 1m each when fully assembled (can be smaller).  The frame of the catapult must be able to stand alone and may not be held while the grapefruit is being launched. The average distance will be taken for the best 3 out of 5 launches.  Catapult kits may not be used.  The team must design and build their own!


Cup Tower – Each team will be given 3 minutes to build the tallest tower provided with 150 16 oz solo cups.  The cups may not be altered from their provided state. They will be provided on-site for the competition.  Only 4 team members may participate in the actual tower building.


Physics Skit – The team will prepare and perform a skit that is no longer than 8 minutes using their own costumes and props.  The skit must address at least 5 of the following physics topics: gravity, projectile motion, electric charges, magnetism, wave motion, production of sound, Doppler effect (of light or sound), angular momentum, reflection and/or refraction of light, friction. The skit will be evaluated on creativity, scientific merit, and performance. 


Bridge building contest – Using only round or flat toothpicks and elmer’s white glue, teams will build a freestanding bridge weighing less than 5 oz.  To test each bridge's strength we will place the bridge onto and between two flat-topped tables spaced 10 inches apart. A small rope will be set across the middle of the roadbed. Weights will be hooked on to the ends of the rope until the bridge breaks.  The lightest bridge that withstands the most weight will be declared the winner of the competition. 


Where: Reynolds Science Center at Henderson State University

When: The event will take place on October 29th, 2011.  Advisors will receive a schedule of events approximately 1 week before the Physics Olympics.  Registration forms are due no later than Monday, October 17th.


 Click here to register:  Registration for Physics Olympics  


For further information, please contact


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“At HSU my schedule in any given semester was likely to include chemistry and philosophy, or biology and history, or physics and literature. That juxtaposition of ideas helped me understand things in ways that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. A physicist who has learned how to think like a historian, or like a biologist, or like a philosopher is much better equipped to solve a wide variety of complex problems than someone who has mastered some quantity of technical information.”

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Dr. Anthony P. LyonsBachelor of Science - Physics, 1988
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