History of IYPT

The International Young Physicists’ Tournament (IYPT) is a competition created in the USSR to foster scientific research and improved international communication in Physics. It is an annual team competition for high school physics students.

The IYPT is now a major international competition with competitions open to high school physics students in each of the competing nations. Countries currently represented at IYPT come from six continents and are:

Australia, Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Georgia, Hungary, Indonesia, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Each country is represented by a national team consisting of five students. In the August prior to the competition seventeen complex problems are released for the team to theoretically and experimentally research. At the competition the teams present and defend the validity of their solutions against teams from other countries in “Physics Fights”. Juries consisting of respected physicists and physics teachers rate their reports and the discussion that those reports generate.

New Zealand was first represented in the tournament in Uppsala, Sweden in 2003 by a team from King’s College. Subsequently, a team from King’s College competed in Australia in 2004 and Switzerland in 2005.

In March 2006, the first IYPT New Zealand Tournament was held to select the New Zealand team. This team was placed 6th in Slovakia gaining a bronze medal.

In 2007 New Zealand had its best performance to date when it placed 2nd, gaining a silver medal in Korea.

In Croatia in 2008 New Zealand again reached the final and won silver medals. We are the only country to reach both finals in 2007 and 2008.

Again in 2009 the New Zealand team won silver medals in TianJin, China, making us the only country to achieve silver in each of the last three years.


The 2009 Team: Max Fergusson (Christs College), George Zhang (Auckland Grammar School) , Gemma Potaka and Stanley Roache (Onslow College), John Chen (Kings College) With team leaders Gavin Jennings and Paul Haines

In 2010, the New Zealand team achieved an oustanding 3rd place in the world finals in Vienna, Austria.


The 2010 Team: David Xie, Yufei Chen and Tony Yuen from Auckland Grammar School, Jennifer Randle and Evan Simmers from Onslow College

In 2012 in Bad Saulgau, Germany, the New Zealand team walked away with a Bronze medal.


The 2012 Team: Howell Fu and Jesse Zhang from Auckland Grammar School, Matthew Harvey from ACG Parnell and Kaylie Potaka and Oliver Hughes from Onslow College With team leaders Gavin Jennings and Kent Hogan

In 2013 in Taipai, Taiwan we won a Silver medal.IMG_2878

The 2013 IYPT team: Jackson Beagley (ACG Parnell), Anthony Greer (Auckland Grammar School), Oliver Hughes (Onslow College), Jared Lee (Onslow College), Lily Mason-Mackay (Wellington High)

In 2014 in Shewsbury, England, the New Zealand team again won a Silver medal.


The 2014 IYPT team: Ivan Jin (Auckland Grammar School), Scott Liu (Riccarton High), Luke Porteous (Wellington High), Stanley Sarkies (Wellington High), Francesca Templer (ACG Parnell)

Members of the 2015 New Zealand IYPT team gained 10th in the world competition in Thailand, receiving a bronze medal.
NZ team

The 2015 IYPT team: Jack Tregidga (Wellington High School), Tess Breitenmoser (Wellington High School), Matthew Randle (Onslow College), Catherine Pot (Onslow College) and Nicholas Lam (Riccarton High School)

Visit the international IYPT web site