2021 General Rules

This year, all activities during the UBC Physics Olympics will be conducted virtually on this Canvas platform. 

We want to emphasize that we expect student collaboration to happen virtually; students should NOT meet in-person for the purpose of any 2021 UBC Physics Olympics activities.

Due to the virtual nature of this year’s UBC Physics Olympics, there is no size limit for participating school teams. Teams can choose to have all team members participating in all activities, or have selected members participating in specific activities. Events are designed so that team members will need to work together to accomplish the event objectives. There is only one heat for each event, lasting about one hour each. There are 15 minute breaks between activities, as well as a one-hour lunch time.

Digital award certificates (pdf) will be issued to participating members of the top three teams in each event, as well as to schools with the top 6 combined scores.

The combined score of a team is the sum of their decibel scores in the 6 events. For each event, schools are ranked by their event score, and the corresponding decibel score for that event is given by dB = 10 log10(rank). Thus a first place ranking in an event is 0 dB, second is 3.01 dB, fifth is 6.99 dB, tenth is 10 dB, and twentieth is 13.01 dB. The overall Physics Olympics winner is the school with the lowest total decibel score.

Interpretation of Rules

Normal physics interpretations will be applied to all the terminology used in defining the challenges. Those solutions that, in the opinion of the event judges, do not comply with the spirit and intent of the rules will be disqualified from the event (and thus ranked last for the event). The ruling of the event judges is final.

Use of third-party applications

The following applications will be used to support the Physics Olympics activities. This list will be updated regularly. If you have any concerns or questions about the collection of your information and the applications used during UBC Physics Olympics, please contact Theresa Liao, Communications Coordinator, UBC Physics & Astronomy at communications@phas.ubc.ca.

Last updated: March 2, 2021

The following application might not be hosted in Canada:

  • BuzzIn.live: buzzer (Final Quizzics!)
  • Google doc: for hosting Tinkercad tutorial (Circuit event)
  • Google Slides: for developing slides (Final Quizzics!)
  • Pear Deck for Google Slides: for displaying slides (Final Quizzics!)
  • PhyPhox: physical phone experiment application (Physics Lab at Home)
  • Tinkercad: 3D modeling program (Circuit event)
  • YouTube (used within Canvas): video sharing and streaming platform (Final Quizzics!)

Some applications might ask participants to create an account in the tool; by doing so, you will be required to provide personally identifying information including but not limited to your name and email address. Because these tools might be hosted on servers outside of Canada, by creating an account you will also be consenting to the storage of your information outside of Canada. Please know you are not required to consent to sharing this personal information with the tool, if you are uncomfortable doing so. If you choose not to provide consent, you may create an account using a nickname and a non-identifying email address, or use tools that will provide disposable email addresses. You may also choose not to participate in activities that require the use of these applications.

The following applications are hosted in Canada:

  • Canvas: online teaching and learning platform
  • Kaltura: online video hosting platform
  • Qualtrics: online survey application
  • Zoom: video conferencing platform

When using these applications, your personal information is collected under the authority of section 26(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). The collected information will be used for the purpose of sending you information regarding the 2021 UBC Physics Olympics, and evaluating your participation in the UBC Physics Olympics competition.

Privacy and Recording

While this event is not open to the general public and some safeguards will be in place to protect teams’ privacy, teams should consider their usages of the Canvas platform, other applications, and their participation in Physics Olympics activities as being public, with the possibility of being recorded. Efforts should be made to avoid posting/sharing personal information in the forms including but not limited to text, video, and audio.

The Final Quizzics! event will be streamed within Canvas through YouTube. It might be recorded only for the purpose of ensuring final scores are correctly tabulated. The video recording made by UBC Physics & Astronomy will be kept confidential and private.

Zoom Participation

When video participation is necessary, students are not required to have their cameras on.

To facilitate Zoom breakout room assignment, when joining a Zoom call, please add your school name to your display name. Instructions for customizing your name once you are in the session:

  • Click the Participants icon in the bottom bar.
  • In the panel that opens, hover over your name, click More, and select Rename.
  • Enter the name you’d like displayed, which can include your preferred pronouns if you like, and click Rename to save your changes.