2-7 June 2019
Simon Fraser University
America/Vancouver timezone
Welcome to the 2019 CAP Congress Program website! / Bienvenue au siteweb du programme du Congrès de l'ACP 2019 !

UBC High School Physics Olympics: Past, Present, and Future

Jun 3, 2019, 2:00 PM
SWH 10081 (Simon Fraser University)

SWH 10081

Simon Fraser University


Prof. Janis McKenna (University of British Columbia)


University of British Columbia (UBC) Physics Olympics is a high school physics competition held on UBC Vancouver campus ( https://physoly.phas.ubc.ca/ ). This annual outreach event attracts more than 500 high school students, competing in teams, accompanied by more than 70 teachers and coaches from across the province. This competition, organized by the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at UBC, is one of the largest and oldest high school physics competitions of its kind in North America. More than 70 UBC volunteers – physics and education faculty members, graduate and undergraduate students, and staff collaborate before and during the event to make it a reality. The competition consists of six hands-on events (heats), of which two require devices which are designed and built by the students in the weeks before the competition. In recent years, it has also included professional development workshops and networking opportunities for physics teachers and coaches who accompany the teams to the competition. The event engages students in physics in a friendly and collaborative environment where all students are welcome. Many of the teams come from the far reaches of the province of British Columbia, and the event has become an annual field trip for the students - one of the perks of getting involved in secondary school physics. Many of the high schools have been attending the event for decades, thus helping support a physics teaching community in the province.

Primary authors

Prof. Janis McKenna (University of British Columbia) Marina Milner-Bolotin (The University of British Columbia)

Presentation materials