Posted: Tuesday 11 July 2017

Pupils on same wavelength as Einstein

The High School of Dundee team won the S4-S6 category in the Institute of Physics Scotland’s annual poster competition

A group of pupils from the High School of Dundee have shown they're on the same wavelength as Einstein after winning a national school Physics competition.

The team of Ivan Kapelyukh, Oran McNair, Elle Wyatt (all S6) and Luke Wyatt (S4) had to work hard to keep their feet on the ground after being announced as the winners of the S4-S6 category in the Institute of Physics Scotland's annual poster competition, which this year challenged participants to display their knowledge of gravity.

As well as demonstrating their understanding of that subject though, the pupils had to show their grasp of the very recent discovery of gravitational waves (ripples in the fabric of spacetime) that Einstein had predicted but which have taken nearly 100 years to prove. 

Proving the complex subject had a pull on them, the High School quartet also met the challenge of backing up their poster with an essay on the underlying physics of LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory), the device used to detect gravity waves.

The IOP competition challenged pupils to display their knowledge of gravity

But the talented team wasn't finished there. Whilst attending the Celebration of Science and Engineering at Glasgow Science Centre to receive their award, the pupils took part in and won the senior school category in a special STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) competition which ran as part of the event.

Organised by companies in the energy, engineering and telecommunications sectors, the contest saw an estimated 500 pupils from across Scotland compete in teams in a series of timed challenges which assessed teamwork, organisation and knowledge.

The event was hosted by Dr Heather Reid OBE and featured a talk from Professor Martin Hendry (Professor of Gravitational Astrophysics and Cosmology at Glasgow University), who also presented the awards.

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