On Friday the 4th of July, Loughborough Grammar School sent a team to QWERKY Physics held at Uppingham Community College. The team, Daniel Cropper, Mengwen Li, Harry Foot and Darpan Rekhi, participated in physics-based challenges in an inter- school competition organised by the Institute of Physics involving eight challenges and a poster round.
The competition began with shorter challenges, investigating principles such as gravity, magnetism, friction and inertia. Whilst the experiments were relatively simple they provided surprises: the team ended this section in fourth place.
The next round comprised longer investigations into terminal velocity and surface tension with more emphasis on experimental design and prior knowledge. The first challenge, involving dropping pennies into oil and water, proved to be the most difficult as the boys’ knowledge of surface tension was limited. This was followed by investigating friction and gravity using coffee filters.
The boys’ poster was based on gravity and was marked in the three categories: “physics”, “phun” and “phlair”. They secured third place.
There followed an engaging lecture performed by a team of eight volunteer Sixth Formers and, full of liquid nitrogen, plus one or two mistimed explosions, was thoroughly enjoyable.
A presentation from each the top three teams, which included LGS, rounded off a very enjoyable, if somewhat nerve-wracking day.