The International Young Physicists’ Tournament (IYPT) is one of the most prestigious high school international physics competitions, also known as the „Physics World Cup”. It is an essential platform that serves as a catalyst for the advancement of physics education and research. IYPT can also contribute to the advancement of STEM education and can encourage girls to choose STEM studies.
The 37th competition in the history of the IYPT will be held in Hungary in 2024. The competition is unique in that it is not only about physics, as the IYPT is an extremely exciting team competition where competitors fight fierce battles in English. In addition to a deep physical understanding of these problems, quick thinking and situation recognition, persuasive argumentation techniques, good English language skills and team spirit are also extremely important. Perhaps it is also due to this complexity that participation in this competition is extremely exciting and an experience of a lifetime.
What is unique about IYPT?
IYPT provides a lot of improvements of a variety of skills which can be extremely beneficial for high-school students, and are not provided by most other scientific competitions.
- Team work: Each team at an IYPT competition consists of 3-5 students. They have to not only work together, but communicate the ideas during a short Physics fight as well which is crucial for an effective team work.
- Physics knowledge: In the rush during a Physics fight, students have to have an overly amount of deep knowledge covering the whole topic of the given IYPT Problem. This physics knowledge is exceptionally beneficial in the later years of the students.
- Research: All 17 IYPT Problems are meant to be about a one-year-long research project. This means that the competition simulates the research for high-school students years ahead which is immensely helpful.
- Rhetorical skills: The presentation of an IYPT Problem, the short questions, and the discussions require the student to communicate clearly, and focused on the essence. This can be beneficial in the later years (e.g. thesis defence) as well.
- Language skills: Every part of the IYPT is held in the English language, so the students will get professional vocabulary in physics, due to the interaction with participants and jury members from all around the world.
Structure of the tournament
Before the Tournament
Every IYPT ends with the selection of the problems for the next year, so the students have about one year for the experiments, development of an advanced theory, comparison of these two, and the composition of the presentation. This is an extremely important part of the competition, since all the results of every team are gathered during this period.
The most important structural parts of the IYPT are the Physics Fights. There are 5 Selective Fights, and one Final Fight for the top teams at the end. The sturcture of these Fights can be compared to the group phase of a football competition (e.g. FIFA World Cup).
The structure of a Fight
Each fight consists of 3 (or 4) Stages. In each Stage, every team in a given Fight room has one role of the following:
- Observer (if there are 4 teams in a Fight)
During the 3 (or 4) Stages, they “rotate”, so that every team has all the roles exactly once.
The structure of a Stage
Every Stage has the following structure described by the IYPT regulations: