The Challenges posed by Physics at LEH

This year a number of highly dedicated LEH Physics students have applied their talent and determination to achieve recognition in some exceptionally demanding national competitions.

The Experimental Project poses an interesting problem to be investigated using common household and school equipment. The Projects were written up in the style of an academic paper, and then judged by the British Physics Olympiad (BPhO) scientists.

Our competitors in the Project were, in the UV, Nouri (UVP), Radhika (UVR), Michelle (UVP), Amber (UVR), and Dina (UVP), and in the LVI, Alex (LVIK).  Without any prior experience, each of them worked as a team to develop strategies, solve problems and present a professional scientific report. They all received a “Commendation” for their production of “Outstanding” projects.  There was also a special acknowledgement, from the examiners, of our girls’ “successful use of ultrasonic range finders”.  These students are pioneers, and have set the tone for future research projects at LEH.

“Though challenging, I really enjoyed the GCSE Physics as it gave me insight into the next level Physics. It really tested my knowledge to apply theories and equations to real life situations.” Michelle (UVP)

Following successful completion of the Experimental Challenge, the UV students then went on to tackle the Physics Challenge.  This is a one-hour theoretical paper that includes multiple-choice and short answer sections.  It aims to test each student’s knowledge and understanding of basic physical principles. It is very demanding.  All of our girls were commended on their wonderfully well-reasoned responses, and both Michelle (UVP) and Amber (UVR) were awarded Bronze II certificates.

Not to be outdone, the LVI have also achieved well deserved recognition in, the gruelling, AS Challenge. This was an exciting opportunity for our Physics students to stretch their lateral thinking skills and apply fundamental physical principles to novel situations. The AS Challenge provided an excellent tool to challenge the girls’ ability to work at, and beyond, A level standard. It consisted of some delightfully thought-provoking questions that tested both their subject knowledge and their application of physical principles.

Each entry was of a very high standard and the submissions were differentiated by very few marks.  Lizzie (LVIG) and Olivia (LVIB) gained Bronze I awards, Ellen (LVIE) and Sophie (LVIH) received Bronze II, and Anjuli (LVIH), Chiara (LVIJ) and Venice (LVIB) were highly commended.

The energy and commitment that these LEH Physicists have shown is incredible. The girls have now formed two teams (UV and LVI) to undertake the cern@school project.  This will distinguish them as leaders in solid state detection techniques.  They are currently designing experiments to advance our understanding of particle physics and nuclear radiation.  The accomplishments of these young researchers, in such a challenging scientific discipline, is inspirational.  Their future in Physics is exciting and full of potential.

By Mr Brittain – Teacher of Physics