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Junior Physics Olympiad

Junior Physics Olympiad

Over the holidays, while many people were relaxing, I was participating in the UQ Junior Physics Olympiad. This workshop ran for a week and was the best Science program I have ever signed up for. Each day began with a talk from a university lecturer on topics such as special reality, motion and optics. Then we had a break in which we learned circus physics such as using a diabolo and poi, as well learning to juggle. These activities were great fun and a great time to make many new friends. In the afternoon we completed practical activities on the topics discussed in the seminar at the beginning of the day. These activities allowed me to exercise my skills of collecting and interpreting data. The two highlights of the week for me were the people and the night lectures. On two of the nights, we were fortunate enough to have two lectures on nuclear and quantum physics from two university professors. These professors’ passion for Science made these lectures so engaging. The other aspect that made this camp stand out was the people. The mentors running the program were university students who had participated in the program when they were in Year 10. All of them shared enthusiasm for physics and made the whole week incredible. The students who attended were also amazing and I have made many lifelong friends. This camp was outstanding. I learned so much physics and met so many amazing people. Any student who wants to pursue a career in Science should absolutely go on this workshop.

Luke Pearce, Year 10

Over the school holidays, four Year 10 students from CHAC (as well as students from other schools across Queensland) came together to participate in the Junior Physics Olympiad (JPhO) at UQ. It was an amazing experience. Over the course of the week, we participated in many interesting activities and workshops with different focuses from circus physics to astronomy to gravity. Each day began with an engaging and fascinating lecture designed to teach us about different areas of physics, covering topics such as heat engines and special relativity. Later, we went through different workshops (which included the spectacular “Demo Troupe”, who demonstrated exciting Science experiments live), ending the day with experiments. These experiments were performed by us and presented numerous challenges, such as how to collect our data and the best way to process it. Overall, JPhO was an extremely fun-filled week of learning about both the practical and theoretical sides of physics, while making new friends.

Ethan Cheung, Year 10

The one-week course was quite demanding, covering six different branches of physics, such as optics, thermodynamics, and special relativity. This is not to say that it was all work, and no play; I was lucky to be in a group with extremely friendly, like-minded students who were willing to give up their holidays to study at UQ. This opportunity was extremely rewarding, as I now understand what branches of physics are currently being researched at UQ, and how each of these can lead to a career path after tertiary studies and I was able to meet many new people who are just as interested in physics as I am.

Liana Davies, Year 10

The program hosted 70 physics-enthused Year 10s and let us experience a myriad of physics-related activities, as well as giving us a taste of university life. On Day 1 we were separated into groups of 10, in which no one was from the same school. This was great as it meant we could meet people from all over Queensland and form new friendships along the way. We did everything in these groups, and so by the end of the week many new friendships had formed. Every morning a new physics lecture was held on a different topic, ranging from basic skills to thermodynamics. We even learned about special relativity! This was one of my favourite parts as it exposed us to intriguing university-level concepts, while also letting us experience realistic university life. Every afternoon we did lab work in groups. This included calculating the strength of gravity by dropping a ball, and constructing a telescope. It was extreme fun working with our groups and learning valuable skills along the way. Despite the amazing learning, the best part was the people. We were able to speak to people ranging from professors through to undergraduates, which gave an amazing insight into life in Science. Overall, the experience was amazing and allowed me to gain a clearer insight into what I want to do in the future.

Ryan King, Year 10