The International Young Physicists’ Tournament (IYPT) is an international competition held for high school students interested in physics across the world. The Physics World Cup, as It is also known, has been held for almost three decades now, with more than 30 participating countries. Canada started participating in the IYPT from 2016 and this was an exceptional case where the IYPT allowed a country to send a full student team in its first year of membership (normally countries would send an observer for the first year to get acquainted with the competition). STEM Fellowship is the IYPT Member Organization (IMO) for Canada, after an application process that was finalized in the 29th IYPT, held this past July in Russia. Thus, STEM Fellowship is tasked with organizing a national competition to allow the participation of a representative team for the 30th IYPT.
The IYPT has a somewhat complex and confusing structure that requires one to actually see the competition to understand how it actually works. Each year, immediately after every IYPT competition in July, the IYPT executive committee releases 17 questions for the competition that will be held the following summer. These questions are those chosen from nominations made by all participating countries that are confirmed by the International Organizing Committee of the IYPT. These questions have an experimental component and are each similar to an independent research project that requires background research and precise experimentation and analysis of the variables. Teams of 5 represent each country and participate in a league structure of “Physical Fights”. Each physical fight includes 3-4 teams in a room where they compete according to the IYPT structure. There are three roles that each team will each have a turn at: Reporter , Opponent and Reviewer (there is also a forth role: observer, for occasions where 4 teams are in the room due to the nature of the league structure). In each Physics Fight, teams will have a shot at all three (or four) positions. The presenting team will be challenged to present one of the questions, the team presents its findings in a limited timeframe. The opponent then draws the attention of the jury to what they see as flaws in the presentation from the presenter. The two sides also have a limited time where they can debate each other on the findings. The reviewing team provides their view on both presentations and weight in on the debate. The jury then give scores out of 10 to each of the teams, this score is given a weight of x3 for the reporting team, x2 for the opponents and x1 for the reviewing team, demonstrating the importance of each role In the fight. The teams then rotate so that by the end of the physics fight they have received scores for all 3 roles. At each point in time there is only one person from each team on the podium, the rest of the team members may pass on notes to their representatives at that particular point.
Click Here to go to IYPT’s website.