On Saturday, March 4th, 2023 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.
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:
- Students: 718
- The distance the farthest team (LV Rodgers Secondary School from Nelson, BC) travelled to get to UBC: 665 km
- Number of medals distributed at the event: 90
- Number of volunteers: More than 70
- Number of participating teams: 63
- Number of teachers: 61 (we had some schools with two teams)
- Number of the Physics Olympics: 45th UBC Physics Olympics
- Number of teachers who attended our special Pro-D event: Physics teaching ideas exchange: 32
- Number of teachers who were own BED students and who are currently our own students in our MED in Science Education cohort: 18
- Number of tours at TRIUMF facility: 12
- Number of different events: 6 (2 labs, Quizzics, Fermi Question challenge, and 2 Pre-Builds)
- Number of overall trophies – 1
I would like to share with you the CTV interview link.
Special thanks | We would like to thank David Robitaille Mathematics and Science Education Initiative and Prof. Cynthia Nicol, as well as our students Conan Lee and Suresh Ghimire for their support during the event. We are also grateful to Kirsty Robbins for her artistic support in designing our flyers, as well as Vindy for processing our expenses.
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.”
To learn more about the UBC Physics Olympics, please visit the event web site.
Dr. Marina Milner-Bolotin
EDCP Representative on the UBC Physics Olympics Organizing Committee