McMaster University Menu Search
Faculty of Science

Department of Physics & Astronomy

Online Physics Competition

Welcome

McMaster’s Department of Physics & Astronomy’s eighth annual Physics@Mac Online Physics Competition for High School students in Grades 11 and 12 is designed to be inclusive, fun and fundamentally different from typical physics contests. This competition can be used as a classroom activity for students who have completed or are taking Grade 11 Physics or Grade 12 Physics. The inherent flexibility of a web-based contest means that it can be written at any time of the day or as an after-school activity. Register as many teams of one or two students as you like. The average time to complete the test is under one hour. Cash prizes will be awarded to the three teams in Grade 11 and three teams in grade 12 which correctly answer the most questions in the shortest time.

The competition consists of ten multiple choice questions. The questions stress conceptual understanding with less emphasis on quantitative calculation and mimic the approach taken in our first-year physics courses where “concept-quizzes” are used to promote a deeper understanding of central ideas presented in lectures. Please refer to the link above for a clear demonstration of how our competition questions will differ from typical physics contest questions. We are encouraging students to work in teams of two to emphasize the importance of cooperative learning and “peer instruction”. Scientific calculators (non-programmable and non-graphing) will be allowed.

Teachers who register teams (students may not register themselves) will receive a confirmation email with login numbers and passwords for each team. Teams can consist of one or two students. Teachers are asked to indicate whether the team is in grade 11 or grade 12. For the purposes of this competition, students in teams registered as Grade 11 are taking or have completed Grade 11 Physics but not Grade 12 Physics, while students in teams registered as Grade 12 have completed or are taking Grade 12 Physics.

On the day of the competition, teams may go to this website and, using the links above, login and download the contest questions at any time after 7:30 a.m. Teams may submit their answers online at this website anytime before 4:30 p.m. Teams may only submit their answers once and should be careful before pressing the “submit” button. The difference between the initial login time and the time at which answers are submitted will be calculated as the team’s elapsed time. Teachers will act as local event coordinators, and provide appropriate supervision for the event. Teams will be judged on the basis of the number of questions answered correctly. In the event of a tie, the team with the shortest elapsed time will be declared the winner. Teams whose elapsed time exceeds 1 hour and 30 minutes will not be considered for a prize.

The top three teams in grade 11 and the top three teams in grade 12 will be awarded $100 per team and their names, along with the names of their schools, will be posted on this website in early January.

If you have questions, if you are having trouble registering, or if you would like an email reminder about this event, please contact Sara Cormier, Instructional Assistant, at outreach@physics.mcmaster.ca.

Register

The competition will take place on Thursday, December 1, 2016.

Registration will open on Friday, October 21, 2016 and will close on Friday, November 25, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.

Registration is now closed for 2016.

Download Questions/Submit Answers

The Competition takes place on Thursday, December 1st, 2016 between 7:30am (EST) and 4:45pm (EST). You will not be able to log in before or after the competition.

You may need to refresh this page if you first opened it before the competition started. If you have any questions please contact outreach@physics.mcmaster.ca.

Contest Archives

Past Competition Questions: Past Competition Winners:

McMaster University - Faculty of Science

Mailing Address

Department of Physics & Astronomy,
McMaster University

ABB-241
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
L8S 4M1

Contact Information

Telephone Inquiries:
+1 (905) 525-9140 ext.24559
Fax:
(905) 546-1252
Email Inquiries:
physics@mcmaster.ca

McMaster University - Faculty of Science

Mailing Address

Department of Physics & Astronomy,
McMaster University

ABB-241
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
L8S 4M1

Contact Information

Telephone Inquiries:
+1 (905) 525-9140 ext.24558
Fax:
(905) 546-1252
Email Inquiries:
physics@mcmaster.ca