Papers and competitions

The International Year of Light Poster Competition

2015 is the International Year of Light!

To coincide with this, the Department of Physics at the University of Oxford is hosting a poster competition for primary schools to help promote the IYO.


Image Courtesy of Carlye Calvin/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

The Department of Physics and Ogden Trust invite school students to create an A3 poster to promote the International Year of Light.
Students should use libraries and the internet to search for material.
The competition is open to individual students in two age ranges:
• Ages 6, 7, 8
• Ages 9, 10, 11

Prizes

• All submitted entries will receive a certificate.
• The best entries will be displayed on the University of Oxford, Department of Physics website.
• The following prizes are available for each category (age range):
1st Prize: Plasma ball
2nd Prize: Sun in a jar
3rd Prize: Fibre optic starlight lamp

• Winners and their teachers and families will be invited to a public lecture and prize giving ceremony to be held on Saturday 2nd May 2015 at the University of Oxford.

Competition rules

• Posters must be A3 in size containing diagrams and/or images.
• Individuals may enter the competition directly or through their school. Schools are asked to submit their best entries only.
• We cannot accept more than four entries per class.
• Put your name at the top of each poster.
• Entries must arrive before 16th April 2015
• Entries are to be submitted in electronic form (PDF) and emailed to schools.liaison@physics.ox.ac.uk.

The entry form can be found in the attachments bar to right of this webpage.

This competition can be completed at home or in school.

Categories

Year 3-4 (ages 6-8)

Pupils should design a poster on Solar Eclipses. Here are some ideas you might want to include in your poster:
• The difference between the light we see from the Sun and the Moon. Why the Moon appears dark during a solar eclipse?
• How solar eclipses take place on Earth and why they can only be observed in certain places?
• What safety precautions need to be taken when observing the Sun and / or an eclipse?
• How might things change during a total solar eclipse, e.g. Daylight, Temperature?
• Why eclipses do not occur every month?

Year 5-6 (ages 9 – 11)

Pupils should design poster on Sundials. Here are some ideas you might want to include in your poster:
• How the shadow of a sundial changes with the time of day.
• How the shadow of a sundial changes with seasons.
• How is the shadow affected by its the position on Earth.
• The tilt of the Earth’s axis and its orbit.

For further details, please contact schools.liaison@physics.ox.ac.uk.

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Venus 2012

Extended deadline: 7th May 2012.

NEWSPAPER COMPETITION

CALLING ALL YOUNG PEOPLE WITH AN INTEREST IN ASTRONOMY

Background

Venus is named after the goddess of love and beauty. It is the brightest planet in the sky and has always fascinated people on Earth. Although Venus is our sister planet; its atmosphere is thick, hot and toxic. The surface temperature is so high that it would melt lead.

On 5th June 2012 Venus will appear as a perfect black dot crossing the face of the Sun. This is known as a transit and it is a very rare event to view from Earth. Only Venus and Mercury are placed to do this as they are closer to the sun than the Earth, and only then when there is an exact alignment of orbits. Though occurring in pairs a few years apart, this is generally a once in a lifetime experience. Only six pairs of transits have taken place since the invention of the telescope almost 400 years ago.

Warning!! Never look at the Sun directly. Never look at the Sun through an optical instrument.

The competition

The Department of Physics and Green Templeton College, University of Oxford invite school students to create an A3 illustrated newspaper style article to promote and raise public interest in the transit.

Students should use libraries and the internet to search for material.

The newspaper competition is open to individual students in two age ranges:
• Years 6, 7, 8
• Years 9, 10, 11
Entries must arrive before 1st May 2012. Extended deadline: 7th May 2012

Entries are to be submitted in electronic form.

Prizes

• All submitted entries will receive a certificate.
• The best entries will be displayed in Green Templeton College, University of Oxford and on the Department of Physics website.
• The following prizes are available for each category (age range):

o 1st Prize: Astronomical binoculars and tripod for home observing
o 2nd Prize: Hand held binoculars
o 3rd Prize: Book prize

• Winners and their teachers and families will be invited to a public lecture and prize giving ceremony to be held on Saturday 2nd June 2012 at the University of Oxford.

Competition rules

• Entries must be A3 in size in the style of a modern newspaper, containing diagrams and/or images.
• Individuals may entry the competition directly or through their school. Schools are asked to submit their best entries only. We cannot accept more than two entries per class.
• Put the names of the contributors at the top of each article.
• Entries accepted from Individuals only.

You must make clear any sources that you used to create your article.
What you could include

In your article you could include:

  • A good, relevant, witty headline.
  • A lead story covering one or more of the following:

• the mythology of Venus.
• early scientific observations of transits of Venus and what was discovered.
• the hazards a spacecraft would face on its way to and on the surface of Venus.
• experiments that could be carried out on the surface of Venus.
• the possibility of returning a sample of the surface to Earth.
• what we know about the surface geology of Venus from radar maps and landers.
• how the climate of Venus is an example of global warming.

  • An illustration/photograph showing the surface detail of Venus.
  • A cartoon about the event.
  • An original poem about the event.
  • One or two advertisements related to Venus exploration.

This competition can be completed at home or in school.

Attached in the top right is a printable version of the competition details and the entry form.

BRITISH PHYSICS OLYMPIAD

Oxford Physics help to organise the British Physics Olympiad. The competition papers are designed to challenge students and develop problem solving skills.

Please visit the British Physics Olympiad website for more information.