International Young Physicists’ Tournament – touching the real research
Martin Plesch1*
1International Young Physicists' Tournament, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovak Republic
* presenting author:Martin Plesch, email:plesch@savba.sk
Education of sciences in both elementary and high schools is moving from developing the encyclopedical knowledge (laws and formulas) towards gaining experience (experiments, independent research) and understanding every-day phenomena. Such innovative methods post new challenges on teachers – they are asked to come with new ideas, problems, experiments and tasks.
International Young Physicists’ Tournament is a world-wide competition in physics for high schools students. It is based on the idea of simulating the real scientific research on schools. Key concepts of the IYPT idea are following:
• Tasks for the competition (covering as many areas in physics as possible) are known a year in advance and are common for all students across the world. They are open-ended and allow for both experimental and theoretical approach. At the same time, partial solutions are possible with basic knowledge of physics.
• Students work in teams and are asked to perform research including collection of known results, developing theories, numerical solutions, performing experiments and drawing conclusions. Teacher acts as a consultant, helping the students with advices only if needed.
• Solutions of the problems are presented by the students itself in oral form, with help of media (ppt presentations, photo and video etc.). Students are asked not only to find a suitable solution, but also to be able to present the solution in a comprehensive form, understandable both for other teams as well as for the scientific jury, in a strict time limit.
• One of the most important aspects of IYPT is the fact that the solutions are opposed by students from other, concurrence teams. This trains the students also to defend their results towards their colleagues. At the same time, they must be able to react to solutions from other teams with suitable questions and arguments.
• Team work, presentations and discussion bring an important social aspect to IYPT. This might be one of the reasons for the fact that much more girls are interested to this competition in comparison to general interest of girls into physics.


Keywords: Physics competition, Talented students