New Zealand Young Physicists’ Tournament
Fostering scientific research and improved international communication in Physics

IYPT 2014 Shrewsbury

New Zealand team was placed 6th overall so this qualifies the team as Silver medallists!

This is another great performance from the team and I am so proud of their achievements. Other teams travel with university professors and spend a month before the competition in a university with access to high tech equipment. The NZ work is done by the students in their high schools after school hours with the support of their teachers and occasional assistance from lecturers in universities that have supported the competition.

In particular I would like to thank Kent Hogan, Kerry Parker, Sue Napier and Tristan O’Hanlon for their support of the students in their schools. I know from the supervision of the Auckland Grammar students over the years how many hours it takes to facilitate the research required to gain solutions to the challenging IYPT problems. In addition I would like to recognise the help given to the team by Donald White (IYPT 2008) and Maarten Hoogerland along with many others.

The final top 10 placings at the end of the 5th round were :
1 Singapore
2 China
3 Poland
4 Korea
5 Slovakia
6 New Zealand
7 Taiwan
8 Russia
9 Germany
10 Austria
The UK were 12th and Australia in 19th ……..

Check out the site for photos and results


Hi to all

Here are the details of the 2012 NZYPT competition.

The regional tournaments are planned for Saturday 17th March 2012
With the national tournament to be held on Saturday 31st March 2012.
No final decisions have been made for the venues for the regional tournaments in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch yet.

The national final is planned to be in Wellington (if a suitable venue can be found).

The 7 problems for the NZYPT competition are attached to this email.
Students should be encouraged to start on their solutions from this point in time.

Full details should be on our website soon but as schools/teachers who have participated in the past I wanted to let you know about the details now.
Please feel free to forward this email to other schools in your region and encourage them to enter.

I hope, after the difficulties of last year, that we can make this the best NZYPT to date with large team entries in each region.

Cost of entry per team is the same as last year at :
$90 for an early-bird entry if forms and payment are submitted by 1st December 2011
$180 if teams enter after this date up until 29th February 2012.

The international competition IYPT is to be held in Germany this year and I want to send a strong New Zealand team of 5 to represent us after missing out in the Iranian event - in 2011.


Gavin Jennings

NZ IYPT Final 2011

NZYPT 2011 final summary

The New Zealand Young Physicists Tournament this year had a slightly smaller entry than last year in terms of the number of schools and teams across the country as a whole. That said the Auckland region entry was as strong as ever. The winning teams from the three regional tournaments in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed teams from the Auckland region proceeded to the National Final at Auckland Grammar School in Auckland on 14th May 2011.

The NZYPT tournament in 2011 was severely disrupted by the earthquake in Christchurch. The original date for the regional tournaments was postponed and the final of the event had to be postponed and moved from Christchurch to Auckland. This allowed the regional tournaments to take place and gave time to all of the teams to prepare for the competition.

The six top teams from the regional tournaments were two teams from Auckland Grammar School along with teams from Kings College, St Cuthbert’s College, Lincoln High School and Onslow College.

Mr Gavin Jennings, NZYPT Chairman, welcomed the teams to the final. The event was formally opened by Mr John Morris, headmaster of Auckland Grammar School. Mr Morris welcomed the teams and spoke to them about the academic excellence encouraged by competitions of this type before, in the spirit of true competition, wishing the teams well for their “Physics fights” throughout the day.

NZYPT organisers wish to thank the lecturers from the University of Auckland’s Physics and Engineering departments along with specialist physics teachers who gave up their time to attend. They had the responsibility of judging the teams as they fought for supremacy as the top NZYPT school for 2011.

All of the school teams were well prepared and the fights showed the depth of study they had undertaken. The NZYPT competition ensures students research theoretically and practically the problems in the competition as well as develop the art of précis and on the spot debate. The day ran smoothly and there was little between the scores of the teams at the half way stage.

In the second round the teams were able to elect the problem they reported. The standard of the reports presented in the competition this year was higher than ever. The understanding of physical concepts and the debating skills of the students at each stage impressed all of the judges.

At the end of the competition scores were totalled and Lincoln High were announced as worthy winners. Auckland Grammar(2) was in 2nd , St Cuthbert’s College in 3rd, Onslow College in 4th and Auckland Grammar(1) in 5th with Kings College in 6th place.

The Lincoln High team were presented with the national NZYPT trophy, winners medals and ipod touches. Medals and ipod nanos were presented to the Auckland Grammar team in second place and medals and ipod shuffles for the St Cuthbert’s College team in third place.

NZYPT would like to thank the sponsors of the event for enabling the competition to take place. In addition the sponsorship allows for financial support of the team travel expenses, the medals and prizes.

The difficulties faced this year with our New Zealand tournament due to the earthquake in Christchurch along with the safety concerns with the venue for the International Young Physicists’ Tournament 2011 in Iran meant that the decision was taken to not compete in IYPT 2011. This is regretful since the quality of all of the students taking part in the finals this year would have enabled them to shine on the world stage. That said the safety of the students is our paramount concern.

Schools who have not taken part in NZYPT should be motivated by the success of Lincoln High. It was good to see a team, new to the competition, rise to the challenge of the problems and win.

Winning team from Lincoln High

Regional Tournaments 2011 Completed

The regional rounds of the 6th New Zealand Young Physicists’ Tournament were held on 9th April 2011 in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The event, originally planned to be in March before the earthquake in Christchurch, was postponed to allow the Christchurch schools time to get back to some semblance of normality. In addition the NZYPT National final of the event which was scheduled to be held in Christchurch has been moved to Auckland and will take place on Saturday May 14th 2011 at Auckland Grammar School.

Every year the NZYPT competition selects a series of seven open ended practical problems for teams to research. In 2011 the teams had to investigate a range of problems from flames bouncing in an electric field, levitating magnetic spinners to building a car powered by a balloon which maximised the efficiency of the car. Each problem required the students to develop new practical techniques and design and make apparatus to gather reliable data as well as carry out significant theoretical research. The hardest part for most teams was to distil the vast amount of information acquired in the experiments and the research into a 12 minute (and no more!) PowerPoint presentation.

In Auckland, the largest of the regional tournaments again this year, 15 teams from around the region met at Kings College and were welcomed to the event by NZYPT Chairman Gavin Jennings and Dr Maarten Hoogerland from the Auckland University, Department of Physics. The school teams were divided up into 5 rooms where they “fought” it out by presenting their solutions to the problems and discussing the physics behind the suggested solutions. The standard of the competition was higher than ever and it was good to see new schools taking up the challenge of this demanding event.

The dedication of the Physics teachers, lecturers and industry representatives who gave up their entire Saturday to act as judges over the 3 rounds of the event was appreciated by the organisers of the event and the students who were keen to continue explaining their ideas long after the “Physics fights” were over. In addition the successful running of the day was facilitated by the dedication and organisational skills of Elizabeth Schubert, Kings College.

At the end of an exciting day when all of the points were added up the two Auckland Grammar teams were placed 1st and 2nd with Kings College 3rd and St Cuthbert’s College in 4th place. These teams make it through to the National Final of the event where they will be joined by Lincoln High School (Christchurch) and Onslow College (Wellington). All of the students taking part in the regional competition were presented with certificates and they were keen to return to their schools and spread the word about this celebration of Physics ready for next year’s event.

First Place 1st Auckland Grammar
Second 2nd Auckland Grammar
Third 3rd King’s College
Fourth 4th St Cuthbert’s

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NZYPT Problems for 2011 Now Available

The seven problems for New Zealand Young Physicists’ Tournament 2011 are now available. Click on Problems (2011).

Regional tournaments for the NZYPT will be held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch on Saturday 12th March 2011. The top two teams from each regional tournament will then proceed to the National Final to be held on Saturday 26th March. For programme details see 2011 Tournament Details.

The team that wins the National Final plus the best five other students form the New Zealand squad from which the team to travel to Iran will be selected. See Team Selection for more details.

The deadline for entries is Earlybird 10th December 2010 and Final 25th February 2011. The Entry Form can be downloaded from this site and is also included in the NZIYPT Brochure. Completed entry forms must be accompanied by the entry fee ($90 earlybird or $180 later, per team).

If you would like to register interest or receive an information pack please email Gavin Jennings on

IYPT New Zealand acknowledges the generous support of the following organisations:

New Zealand Institute of Physics

Royal Society of New Zealand

University of Auckland

University of Canterbury

Victoria University

MacDiarmid Institute

Electric Power Engineering Centre

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