Physics Olympics!

Yesterday was the 27th annual Massachusetts New England Physics Olympics.  This is a really Phun event where 10 teams from 8 schools competed in a variety of Physics Events.  I had the pleasure of trying to coordinate this event, and I must first thank all of the BU undergraduates (and Mark Greenman, the Boston University Teacher in Residence for recruiting them) who helped all of us teachers in making the day run so smoothly!

BUA had a team of seven, with one 10th grader leading the squad (Remy), five 9th graders (Michael, Oliver, Evelyn, Dheekshita, and Nadia) and one 4th grader (Alejandro).

End of a long day

BUA Team, Michael, Alejandro, Remy, Oliver, Evelyn, Dheekshita, and Nadia












One of my favorite events this year was a variation of the Pictionary event.  This was LEGO Bricktionary, where the cards had physics keywords, and the builder has to build something to represent that physics ideas and the other students had to guess. 

Michael from BUA builds items for LEGO Physics Bricktionary







Melrose in LEGO Bricktionary















Another LEGO event was called LEGO on a string.  Students had to build a device from LEGOs ahead of the Olympics which would carry a payload down a string and drop the payload onto a target.  The payload was a weighted LEGO brick.



Thayer team in LEGO on a string










BUAers Remy and Michael with LEGO on a string






















Another event was an Image Analysis event based on software developed at the Tufts CEEO

Physics experiments using Image Analysis








Another event was the Bottle Rocket Launching Event.  Using a soda bottle filled with air as the source of propulsion, students had to build a paper rocket on location and launch it.


Building the rockets


Down the hallway the rocket shoots





































I also wanted to include some photos of the other build-ahead event which was a Rube Goldberg device.  The devices had to take a Golf Ball in one side and push it out the other side.  I think we planned to line the devices up end-to-end to make a continuous stream of devices (an idea I got from the CEEO) but I do not think it worked so well.










Rube Goldberg Dover Sherborn


Michael and Oliver Rube Goldberg


AND the final scores!!!!!!!!!

LEGO on a String Brictionary Physics Bowl Geometric Optics Image Analysis Rube Goldberg Bottle Rocket Junkyard Wars Total
BC High 60 60 55 70 70 90 80 75 560
BU Academy 65 85 90 95 60 75 75 65 610
Melrose High 80 55 60 65 75 75 0 70 480
Dover Sherborn A 100 80 100 85 90 100 95 100 750
Dover Sherborn B 85 100 75 90 100 80 70 85 685
Milton 55 90 70 60 85 75 85 80 600
Wellesley A 95 95 95 85 65 85 100 55 675
Wellesley B 90 70 80 75 80 95 65 60 615
Thayer 75 65 65 55 55 0 60 95 470
North Kingston 70 75 85 100 95 60 90 90 665
PhysBowl2 bua 0
dover 16
wellesley 1
kingston 0