If you want general information about the Victorian Young Physicists’ Tournament, click here.

Problems, Registration, Competition


1. Hovercraft: A simple model hovercraft can be built using a CD and a balloon filled with air attached via a tube. Exiting air can lift the device making it float over a surface with low friction. Investigate how the relevant parameters influence the time of the ‘low-friction’ state.

2. Wet and Dark: Clothes can look darker or change colour when they get wet. Investigate the phenomenon.

3. Liquid light guide: A transparent vessel is filled with a liquid (e.g. water). A jet flows out of the vessel. A light source is placed so that a horizontal beam enters the liquid jet. Under what conditions does the jet operate like a light guide?

The team of three students do all three topics.

Resources for VYPT 2015 42.5 kB

List of useful web-links for each of the three topics as well as some more demanding academic journal articles.

Videos of the Tournament

At the 2014 Victorian Young Physicists’ Tournament, Terry Tan from John Monash Science School videoed the competition as did some of the other teachers. Terry has edited the footage into two packages, i) a short one using extracts from different contests to show the key features of a contest and ii) a longer one of one complete contest. See links below.

A longer video of Victorian Young Physicists’ Tournament

The Vicphysics Committee appreciates the tremendous amount of work by Terry in chasing up school approvals and then editing the material into these packages.

Extra event: Poster Competition

Teams can also enter a poster competition. If they wish to enter, they present the report of one of the three topics in the form of an electronic poster, that is a single powerpoint slide. Entries will need to be submitted as an email attachment at the same time as the registration form, see below. For suggestions on poster design and powerpoint templates, click here.

Prizes will be $200 for first. $150 for second and $100 for third for each Year level, with the prize money going to the whole team. The Committee will judge the posters prior to the Tournament Day and print them for display on the day.


Teachers do not need to officially register school teams until the Friday, 13th November. However no applications will be accepted after that date. Registration is free. Schools should download the registration form below, which has space for the following information:

  • School’s Name.
  • Teacher’s name and full contact details.
  • The name of each school team, their year level and the names of the students in each team as well as the topics each student will be reporting and and opposing. *
  • Name of person to act as judge and their status **
  • The form should also requires the principal’s signature ***

*: Students should be advised that there will be a video recording of some contests for the purpose of promoting the event. A lodged registration form indicates that the students give their consent to be included in the video.

**: The teacher is expected to participate in judging. If a school wishes to register additional teams, then an extra judge is required by each additional two teams. The extra judge(s) can be either another science teacher, a lab tech, a student who has competed in VYPT before or a parent with a science background.

***: This is a large and complex event. It not only involves many people acting in a voluntary capacity, but it is also time consuming to organise. Consequently any withdrawal of a team is a major disruption. So there will be a penalty of $50 to the school for the withdrawal of a team to cover the additional administrative costs.

The form should be forwarded it to the the Committee either as an email attachment with subject heading, ‘Registration: VYPT’ or post it to VYPT Tournament, PO Box 290, Flinders Lane, VIC, 8009.

VYPT Registration Form 32.3 kB

Powerpoints from previous tournaments can be found and downloaded from the ‘Results’ sections of 2011 tournament and the 2013 tournament.


The competition will be held on Tuesday 1st December for Year 10 teams and Wednesday 2nd December for Year 11 and mixed teams. A round robin will be held during the morning and the early afternoon. Each team will compete in six 30 minute contests, three as a reporter and three as an opponent. Each team member will be required to report on one topic and oppose on another. So, each team member will have two opportunities to speak.

Venue: University High School, Story St, Parkville.


There is a trophy for the school of the winning team. Members of the top teams receive a book and a cash prize. All other participants receive cash prizes and a certificate.