March 2023

45 UBC Physics Olympics in Numbers

Carihi Secondary School and their teacher Mr. Bill Deagle (the team travelled from Campbell River, BC)

Carihi Secondary School and their teacher Mr. Bill Deagle (the team travelled from Campbell River, BC)

The Overall Winner – Eric Hamber Secondary School team and their teacher Mr. Eric Lam, who is also a UBC graduate!

Semiahmoo Secondary School and their teacher Mr. Louay El Halabi. This year they were in the 3rd place!

Dear physics enthusiasts and friends:

This Saturday, more than 700 secondary students from all over BC travelled to UBC to participate in the 45th Annual UBC Physics Olympics: . It was our first face-to-face post-pandemic event and I am so glad to report that it went exceptionally well. The event is a long time (almost half a century) collaboration between the Departments of Curriculum and Pedagogy and Physics and Astronomy. It is the largest hands-on on-campus science event in Canada and probably one of the largest in North America. Vancouver CTV News featured the following report about it:

I also would like to share with your that this year the overall Champion is Eric Hamber Secondary School team. Their teacher – Mr. Mark Lam – is our own BED graduate. And most of his team are Grade 10 and 11 students! I am so proud of him and his team.

Here are a few numbers about the event:

  1. Students: 718
  2. The distance the farthest team (LV Rodgers Secondary School from Nelson, BC) travelled to get to UBC: 665 km
  3. Number of medals distributed at the event: 90
  4. Number of volunteers: More than 70
  5. Number of participating teams: 63
  6. Number of teachers: 61 (we had some schools with two teams)
  7. Number of the annual UBC Physics Olympics: 45th
  8. Number of teachers who attended our special Pro-D event: Physics teaching ideas exchange: 32
  9. Number of teachers who were own BED students and who are currently our own students in our MED in Science Education cohort: 18
  10. Number of tours at TRIUMF facility: 12
  11. Number of special plaques for the winners: 6
  12. Number of different events: 6 (2 labs, Quizzics, Fermi Question challenge, and 2 Pre-Builds)
  13. Number of overall trophies – 1

We were interviewed by the CTV news. The interview link:

We received many-many thank you notes from the teachers. I am so glad to see that we have strong connections with the community and we are contributing to science education in our province not only through teacher education, but also through successful and inspirational outreach events:

“Just wanted to say a huge thank you for a fantastic event. My students were super touched by your acknowledgments and were completely inspired by their fellow students and the events. We look forward to coming next year.

Kind Regards,

Angie McTague

LVR Physics teacher

Nelson, BC”

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