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Physics Olympics 2019 St Olave s

(Image: Physics Olympics 2019)

The Olympic Games may have been postponed until 2021, but the annual St Peter's Physics Olympics went ahead this year with a total of 30 pupils taking part. 

Mr Andy Parr, Physics Teacher at St Peter's School, launched this year's Physics Olympics in June, challenging pupils to complete two virtual challenges: the Fermi Quiz and the Simply Complicated Challenge.

The Fermi Quiz encourages pupils to use their imaginations and their knowledge of physics to solve a series of complex problems and estimate different quantities. Points are awarded based on the accuracy of the estimates. 

Entries were received from All Saints RC School, Archbishop Holgate's School, Aysgarth School, Beverley Grammar School, Huntington School, King James School, Outwood Academy Ripon, Pocklington School, RGS Newcastle, St Aidan's Church of England High School, St Peter's School, Yarm School and York High School. 

Working on the average score for each school, the top five schools were: 1) All Saints RC School, 2) Beverley Grammar School, 3) RGS Newcastle, 4) King James School, 5) St Aidan's Church of England High School

The best performing pupils came from the following schools: 1) St Peter's School, 2) All Saints RC School, 3) King James's School, 4) Pocklington School, 5) Beverley Grammar School.

The teachers at St Peter's were particularly impressed by the entries for the Simply Complicated Challenge, an open-ended challenge which required pupils to create a Rube-Goldberg style machine to raise a flag. Points were awarded for the duration of the machine, the number of processes and the entertainment factor and the entries were submitted by video. 

The winners of the Simply Complicated Challenge were 1) Harry from St Peter's School, 2) Rebecca from All Saints RC School and 3) Oscar from York High School, and all other entries received a commendation. 

St Peter's 8-13 pupils also gained 1st, 2nd and 4th places in the Fermi Quiz. 

Mr Parr said: "All of those who submitted entries deserve lots of praise, as they all showed lots of imagination, technical ability, commitment and initiative. We are looking forward to the return of the Physics Olympics in 2021."

The St Peter’s Physics Olympics was created in 2007 by Physics teacher David Morris, Head of Science at St Peter’s School. It was designed to promote the fun of Physics and teams of young physicists from each school usually spend the day solving complex physics problems and tackling scientific challenges. The event started for pupils across the York region, but has rapidly expanded and now attracts schools from as far afield as Newcastle and Nottingham.