The 2008 Western Kentucky Physics Olympics
Rescheduled for Saturday, April 5th

The Science of Wizardry is the theme for the 2008 Western Kentucky Physics Olympics, a half-day competition hosted by the WKU Department of Physics and Astronomy. This yearís pentathlon of challenging problem-solving activities that reward teamwork, creativity, and communication will be held Saturday, April 5 from 8:30 a.m. until about 2:00 p.m. in the Thompson Center, Central Wing on WKUís Bowling Green campus.

Each high school in the region is invited to send one or more teams of four students to compete in the 2008 Western Kentucky Physics Olympics. This yearís event will commence with the Dematerialization contest, requiring each team to perform for the judges a demonstration of making a pencil disappear, as well as to present a report that identifies the science behind their act of dematerialization. For the next event, Electromagnetic Locomotion, each team will design, construct and use an electromagnetic device to, without any visible mechanism, turn a coil of wire and lift an object.

This yearís Calculation/Communication Challenge, Transfiguration, requires two members of the team to carefully observe and devise a plan to transform a three dimensional shape into another shape, and the other two members to use those instructions to recreate the desired result. The final two events -- the "On-the-Spot Activity", a mostly hands-on, impromptu challenge, and the "Order-of-Magnitude Quiz", a brain teaser which asks contestants to quickly estimate answers for extreme situations -- will remain cloaked in secrecy until those events actually begin.


Teams must register online at new registration deadline is March 27, 2008.


Overall winners:
Each of the four contestants on the team with the best score in the overall competition will receive a $500 scholarship to attend Western Kentucky University. The scholarship is to be used during the freshman year and is awarded above and beyond any other scholarships the student might otherwise earn.

Medals for the team members and a plaque for the school will be awarded to the top 3 teams in the overall competition.

Certificates will be awarded to the top three teams in each event.

Schedule of Events





Mandatory check-in for all teams

TCCW 251


Dematerialization judging begins

TCCW 205


Electromagnetic Locomotion competition begins

TCCW 208


Order-of-Magnitude Quiz begins

TCCW 201



TCCW 238/239


Calculation/Communication Challenge begins

TCCW 201


On-the-Spot Activity begins



Awards Ceremony

TCCW 201

Snow Date

In case of cancellation due to inclement weather, Physics Olympics will be rescheduled for the same times on an alternate Saturday to be announced.


  WKU Physics Olympics Overview  |  Event Descriptions  |  Online Registration  |  Directions to WKU
  Frequently Asked Questions  |  Physics Olympics Archive  |  WKU Physics Homepage 

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 Last modified on February 12, 2010.

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