2015 Queensland Junior Physics Olympiad (JPhO)

Queensland Junior Physics Olympiad (JPhO), is a five day (non-residential) program for Year Ten students with an interest in science and mathematics. By presenting Physics in a manner that complements Senior Physics, JPhO aims to develop problem-solving skills as well as appreciation and understanding of Physics. 2015  Queensland JPhO  was held on 29 June – 3 July, 2015 at The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus. Four Year 10 students Ethan Bryant, Sean Ciancio Gayler, David Kendall and Ray Feng attended this event. Below, Ethan shares his JPhO experience:

“During the holidays I was able to attend the Junior Physics Olympiad along with two other students from QAHS. After an exciting QAHS Opportunities Week full of learning, I was ready for more. The first day of the course began with a quick introduction and the arrangement of groups before we set of to go to our various activities. These activities included lectures, talks, experiments, lab tours, displays and discussions. Over the course of the week I was able to explore new concepts and ideas, discover for myself what university life was like and I was able to meet new people from other schools with a similar interest in physics as myself. During this time many of us discovered that we were quite good at juggling or using the diablos which we used during lunchtime. Some of the most memorable moments of the course include the tour of the materials engineering lab where we got to see a recently made material which could detect a large range of explosives. Another example was the talks on Bose-Einstein Condensates and positronic matter.

By the end of the week we were exhausted from all that we’d learned but we were able to have one more day of fun. This day began with a short 60 minute exam which to our amusement, was filled with some of the strangest test questions we had ever seen. After that we were released into the grounds for a treasure hunt where we had to complete eight different challenges to get the treasure. Each challenge was based around a particular unit we had learnt about at the Olympiad e.g. Teamwork, Graph theory, astrology/cosmology. We then had a quick lunch before going to the planetarium to learn more about our vast universe and buy some interesting souvenirs. We finished the week with a group photo and a tearful goodbye. Overall the week had been a good one which I think opened our eyes to new possibilities and ideas and from which we all had learnt something that we could take home. I’m certain that the next Olympiad will be even more fun for those who’ll be taking our place next time and that many of those who went this year will be coming back as tutors to make the experience even better for the other students to come.” – Ethan Bryant, Year 10.

Mr Wayde So
Physics Teacher