Online Physics Competition
McMaster’s Department of Physics & Astronomy’s ninth annual Physics@Mac Online Physics Competition for High School students 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 Grades 9 to 11 and the 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 what grade the team is in. 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. All teams in Grades 9 to 11 compete against each other in one category and all teams in Grade 12 compete in the other category. The contest is designed for upper year high school students, but all interested students are encouraged to participate regardless of grade!
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 5:30 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 grades 9 to 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 Ben Davis-Purcell, Instructional Assistant, at email@example.com.
The 2017 competition took place on Wednesday, December 6, 2017.
Registration is now closed! We encourage you to return to this site later in the year to register for the 2018 contest.
Download Questions/Submit Answers
The Competition took place on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 between 7:30am (EST) and 5:30pm (EST). The Contest Analysis along with the list of winners will be posted here in early January, 2018.
Log in with your team username and password to write the contest here . 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unique CompetitionsHow is the Physics@Mac Online Physics Competition Different?
Contest ArchivesPast Competition Questions:
- 2016 Contest Analysis
- 2016 Contest Questions
- 2015 Contest Analysis
- 2015 Contest Questions
- 2014 Contest Analysis
- 2014 Contest Questions
- 2013 Contest Analysis
- 2013 Contest Questions