Department of Physics

Physics Competition

Iowa Physics Competition

4 female medal winners

The Physics Competition is a series of 5 competitive events for high school (Grades 9-12) students.  The 2015 State Physics Competition will be held on April 16th (Thursday) 2015 at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) McLeod Center in Cedar Falls with registration beginning at 8:30 am, events starting at 9:30 am, and the competition ending about 12:30 pm.

competitionThe events for the 2015 competition include the following:

  • Catapult,
  • Mouse trap car,
  • Bridge building,
  • Soda straw arm, and
  • Challenge problem

The students will use a variety of everyday, inexpensive materials including mousetraps, compact discs, rubber bands, toothpicks, straws, etc. to build their devices to accomplish specific tasks (catapult, mouse trap car, toothpick bridge, and soda straw arm); and use existing physics laboratory equipment to determine the mass and uncertainty of an unknown object (challenge problem).  The bridge tester is the testing device that will be used for the toothpick bridge at the state competition.   Click on link for a photograph of the device.

competition

Frequently Asked Questions

The state competition is hosted by the UNI Physics Department and coordinated by Dr. Larry Escalada (Lawrence.Escalada@uni.edu).  Please feel free to contact Larry if you have any questions about the UNI/AEA 267 Regional Physics Competition.  Schools must qualify in their AEA regional competition in order to compete in the State Physics Competition.  See State Competition section of the Rules for details on the school team and event team regional winners who are eligible to compete in the State Competition.  If there is no regional competition in an AEA region, two schools per AEA region may compete at the State Competition.  If there is no regional competition in your AEA, contact your AEA science consultant to let him/her know that you are interested in participating in the State Competition.  You may also want to contact a neighboring AEA to determine if it is possible to compete in their regional competition.  Coordinators for regional competitions must provide a list of their teams that qualify for the State Competition no later than April 13, 2015 to Larry Escalada.  AEA science consultants who do not have regional competitions in their AEA should also provide a list of teams who may participate in the State Competition.   All teams that compete in the State Competition must complete and submit the above registration form to Larry Escalada by April 13th (M).  Check payments and cash will be accepted on the day of the competition.  See Registration form for details.

UNI/AEA 267 Regional Physics Competition

catapult event

The 2015 UNI/AEA 267 Regional Physics competition is scheduled to take place on March 26 (Thursday), 2015 at the McLeod Center with registration beginning at 8 am and the competition ending about Noon.

The UNI/AEA 267 Regional Physics Competition is hosted by the UNI Physics Department and coordinated by Dr. Larry Escalada (Lawrence. Escalada@uni.edu) in consultation with AEA 267 (contact person, Melissa Hesner, mhesner@aea267.k12.ia.us). Please feel free to contact either Larry or Melissa if you have any questions about the UNI/AEA 267 Regional Physics Competition.

All teams that compete in the UNI/AEA 267 Regional Competition must complete and submit the above registration form by March 23rd (M).  Check payments and cash will be accepted on the day of the competition.  See registration forms for details.