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Teams from area high schools to compete in 2013 Physics Olympics

D.I.Y. Physics is the theme for the 2013 Western Kentucky Physics Olympics on Feb. 23.

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The 2013 Western Kentucky Physics Olympics will be held Feb. 23 at Thompson Complex Central Wing.

Teams from Allen County-Scottsville, Barren County, Bowling Green, Franklin-Simpson, Greenwood, South Warren and Warren Central high schools are preparing to compete. Sponsored by the Department of Physics & Astronomy, the half-day competition consists of a pentathlon of challenging problem-solving activities that reward teamwork, creativity and communication.

This year’s event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Thompson Complex Central Wing. Registration deadline is Feb. 15. Teams can register online at http://physics.wku.edu/olympics/registration.html.

The competition will begin with two activities that involve competitors arriving at the event ready to compete with things the teams have designed, constructed and tested. The competition titled Bouncing Polymers requires each team to use household ingredients to create a bouncing ball that bounces to the greatest height when dropped from a fixed height. For Carbonated Geysers each team will construct a system such that a Mentos-powered geyser of diet soda pop spews to the greatest height and can be aimed to fill a distant bucket as efficiently as possible.

This year’s “Calculation/Communication Challenge” is Molecular Isomers and will require each team to divide into pairs and cooperatively transform one deadly molecule into an innocuous isomer form.

The others events are an “On-the-Spot Activity” and “Order-of-Magnitude Quiz.”

Each of the four contestants on the team with the best score in the overall competition will receive a $600 scholarship to attend WKU. Medals for the team members and a plaque for the school will be awarded to the top three teams in the overall competition. Certificates will be awarded to the top three teams in each event.

Contact: Richard Gelderman, (270) 745-6203.

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