2018 News



*****  Massey University   “NZYPT – Physics research day”  *****

Massey University (Albany Campus) is holding a one off

 ***** “NZYPT get you started with your research day”  ***** on Monday 3rd December 2018.

The taster day will introduce some of the problems for NZYPT 2019.

For all students thinking about entering the NZYPT competition in 2019 this is a chance to:

– get some hands on time with apparatus

– see the effects for yourself

– get a feel for what you are going to research

– talk to lecturers and fellow students about the competition

***** It is a great way to get your research underway ready for participation in NZYPT in 2019.

Places are strictly limited to 48 so contact Patrick Bowman at

P.O.Bowman@massey.ac.nz   to apply for this event.


New Zealand Young Physicists’ Tournament

& International Young Physicists’ Tournament

2018 News

2018 was another successful year for school based physics research in New Zealand. The NZYPT competition attracted some new schools to the competition and the new format of the National Final saw several new schools competing at the top national level.

The regional tournaments for NZYPT were held on Saturday 10th March 2018.

There were 23 teams entered in the Auckland region, 9 teams in Wellington, and 6 teams in Christchurch.

Regional tournament Venues:

Auckland venue: Westlake Girls High School, North Shore.

Christchurch venue: The University of Canterbury.

Wellington venue: Victoria University of Wellington.

The new format of the national final had the top two teams from each region, plus three more teams chosen to represent the regions proportionally (this year three more teams from the Auckland region) competing in the National final of NZYPT at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch on Saturday 24th March 2018.


The results of the national Final were:

1st: Wellington High School,

2nd: Onslow College,

3rd: ACG Parnell College 1.

All the teams who competed

The other teams that competed at the Final were ACG Parnell College 2, Auckland Grammar School, Kristin School, St. Cuthbert’s College, Riccarton High School, and Burnside High School.

The IYPT team selection process was similar to previous years with student nominations from the NZYPT National final and the regional competitions. A squad of 8 students was initially chosen and a final NZ team of 5 students from this squad were selected for IYPT.

The 31st IYPT was held in Beijing, China from July 19th to July 26th 2018. 32 countries competed.

The members of the New Zealand IYPT team in 2018 were:

Zuni Preece (Wellington High School), Ensai August (Wellington High Sch

ool), Luke Roeven (Wellington High School), Zoë Danger Mansell (Onslow College), and team captain Finnegan Clapcott Messerli (Onslow College).

Team leaders / mentors: *Kent Hogan (Onslow College), *Kerry Parker (Wellington High School), *Rachel Tutty (Rangi Ruru High School),

Gavin Jennings (Auckland Grammar School) and Susan Napier (Riccarton High School).

“*” Indicates Team leaders who attended IYPT in China with the NZ team.


As preparation for the team prior to departure, training camps were held in Wellington over Queens Birthday weekend and for the 3 days before leaving for IYPT. During the training camps the students all received feedback and suggestions for how to improve the standard of their solutions to the international level ready for the IYPT.

The team arrived in China on Sunday July 15th, and after a couple of days acclimatising, dealing with jet lag, and working on presentations for the tournament, were ready to compete.


Background: There are five rounds of Physics “fights” with 3 teams from different countries in each round of the tournament. Each fight is a structured debate on an open ended problem challenged by an opposing team. The top 3 scoring teams and the top team (if any) who is unbeaten in the 5 rounds of fights compete in the IYPT final.



Summary of the New Zealand team performance at IYPT 2018:


The New Zealand team

Fight 1 New Zealand, Singapore and Bulgaria

Result NZ 2nd in Fight, overall placing 22nd.

Total score for the round of 30.4 points. A rough round to start with being

opposed by 4 time defending champions and eventual IYPT 2018 winners Singapore.


Fight 2 New Zealand, China and India

Result NZ 2nd in Fight, overall placing 18th (up 4 places).

Total score for the round of 41.4 points, overall score 71.8.


Fight 3 New Zealand, Hungary and Austria

Result NZ 1st in Fight, overall placing 15th (up 3 places).

Total score for the round of 37.9 points, overall score 109.7.


Fight 4 New Zealand, Canada, Slovakia and Serbia

Result NZ 1st in Fight, overall placing 12th (up 3 places).

Total score for the round of 41.5 points, overall score 151.2.


Fight 5 New Zealand, Korea and Chinese Taipei

Result NZ 3rd in Fight, overall placing 11th (up 1 place).

Total score for the round of 39.8 points, overall score 191.0.

After the tough first round the team did well to make up places in every Fight for the rest of the tournament. The final placing of 11th saw the team safely within the bronze medal range.


FINAL WORLD results of  IYPT 2018 were:

1st Singapore,           2nd China,      3rd Germany,             4th Korea.

We would like to thank all of the supporters of the NZ Young Physicists’ team for their help again this year in making this another very successful year.

In particular thanks to :

The Royal Society of New Zealand, especially Debbie Woodall

SONZ             Electrix,          Warpspeed Computers       The MacDiarmid Institute

The hosts of the NZ tournaments, Westlake Girls High School, Victoria University of Wellington and The University of Canterbury

Victoria University of Wellington School of Chemical and Physical Sciences

The University of Auckland, The Institute of Physics  + many past IYPT participants/parents.


Further News of NZYPT students:

Congratulations to 2017 IYPT NZ team member Jonathan Chan (Auckland Grammar School) on winning the 2017 Prime Minister’s Future Scientist Prize.

2015 and 2016 IYPT NZ team member and 2016 Prime Minister’s Future Scientist Prize winner Catherine Pot has made it through the first round of selection for the new Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment internship at NASA.

2018 IYPT NZ team members achieved highly in the NIWA Wellington Region Science Fair:

Zuni Preece: VUW Faculty of Education Prize and Highly Commended

Luke Roeven: VUW Faculty of Education Prize, VUW School of Mathematics and Statistics Prize and Fourth in Class 5

Finnegan Messerli: Engineering NZ Prize, VUW Faculty of Science Innovation Prize and Third in Class 5

Ensai August: Kainic Medical Communications Prize and Second in Class 5

Luke Roeven and Finnegan Messerli are both being nominated for the 2018 Prime Minister’s Future Scientist Prize for their research this year.

The team with their medals