Physics Fights in IYPT 2012

People in the national phase are still in the stage in which the reports are being sent to our official national organization, but we know that later, they’ll have to engage in national PFs if they want to be one of Brazilian team’s five members this year. Soon, some PF videos we arranged from 2011 national phase will be released on YouTube. However, meanwhile, you may want to know in detail how the Physics Fights went in Germany and, maybe, watch the fights’ videos.

You already know that we had the national phase, that we prepared for some months, that we went to Germany, that we had fun during our free time, that we met people there (and mascots haha), that the city of Bad Saulgau was totally involved in IYPT, that we stayed in a beautiful campus and that we got (and comemorated of course) a medal. Nevertheless, how did we get there? So, let’s get down to our Physics Fights, which were held in the local Student Research Center. For those who do not know how the competition works, watching the brief official promo video will help.

July 21st, day of our first fight. While in the morning we had the opening ceremony, the afternoon would be the time when all the teams would experience their first 2012 discussions. Our fight would be against Belarus and Slovenia. In that fight, Ibraim was our opponent, João played as our Reporter and Bárbara performed as the Reviewer. We first opposed problem number 2, cutting the air, presented by the team of Belarus. Working against the time for making our opposition presentation slides was tough in our first trial, but we were able to adjust everything while the competition continued. Then, we became the reporters. We first refused to present problem number 12, lanterns, which was a problem we had developed but that, for some reason, we didn’t try to present. That was initially a problem, as in the international phase, you can only refuse to present 3 problems during all the competition rounds without effects on the grades. Ok, but the second (and accepted proposal) was problem number 6, woodpecker toy, opposed by Slovenia and reviewed by Belarus. Beginning with a live demonstration, going through our equations and experiments, the discussion finished with our final conclusions as standard. Then we took part as reviewers for problem number 5, bright waves (presented by Slovenia) and the fight was over. After about 3-4 hours of “physics fighting”, we got to 15th place in the competition ranking, so we did need to improve for our next fights if we wanted to get a prize after all.

July 22nd, day of our second and third fights. We did want to grow in the competition, we just didn’t expect how far we would get that day! In the morning, we had our second round. Ibraim began again, but this time as our reviewer, for problem number 7, drawing pins, presented by Singapore and opposed by Georgia. In the following stage, João became our opponent for problem 14, granular splash, which was presented by team of Georgia. And, finally, we were the reporters with problem 10, rocking bottle, presented by Liara with the team of Singapore as our opponent. The round was great and we got to 9th position. In fact, in the middle of tens of countries, that already granted us a bronze medal! We just needed to maintain our positions.

After lunch, it was time for our third fight. We went to our dorms to get some stuff and almost didn’t get to the Student Research Center on time, but that’s a looong story. As we arrived late to our fight room, everybody was already there. The room was CROWDED! Every single place available in the audience was taken, the competition president was in the room and looking at all those faces there to watch us gave us a sensation of “wow! we’re screwed”. To worsen it, we would be the first reporters. We were challenged problem 9, magnet and coin. We hesitated, but accepted the problem. Bárbara was our reporter, team of Nigeria was the opponent and team of Bulgaria played as the reviewer. That report got the first mark 10 Brazil has ever received in the competition’s history! We seriously didn’t believe that. Among 2520 grades in the selective 2012 PFs, only 4 were 10, one was ours! Then João was our reviewer for problem number 14, granular splash, presented by Nigeria, we did get a good average also! And then Bárbara was our opponent for problem number 5, bright waves, reported by Bulgaria. That PF was our best among all rounds, we accumulated more then 42 points in that fight (which is really a lot by the way) and made to the 5th position! That day’s fights brought us to the best partial ranking of Brazil in IYPT’s history and the position of a silver medal. Ok, we were definitely happy as you may imagine and couldn’t stop smiling of course haha.

July 23rd, day of our fourth PF. We discussed a lot in the piano room in the night before. We were happy with results until then, receiving congratulations from people here in Brazil (our Facebook was full of notifications from our friends that day haha) and from other teams in the competition. But, something that only we knew was: the probability of refusing more problems than we could was huge, we needed to count on luck to get the results we wanted. We entered the room and, gradually, the jury chairs were being taken. That jury was composed by some of the most rigorous evaluators in the competition indeed. João was again the reviewer for problem 14, granular splash, this time presented by the team of Czech Republic. Then, Bárbara was the opponent for problem number 3, string of beads, presented by the team of Indonesia. Finally, we were the reporters. First, we rejected problem 2, cutting the air, and Liara was our reporter for problem number 11, flat flow. Although we had some problems with the time for presentation, her solution was in fact great and we could achieve good grades from that rigorous jury. 🙂 We fell to the 8th position in that fight, but there was still room for recovering.

July 24th, day of our fifth and last selective fight. We wanted to remain among silver medalists, but, as nothing is perfect, we had some problems (which I previously quoted to be best conveyed through one of Liara’s post in her blog, I won’t need to write it again). We rejected problem 17, ball in foam, and 15, frustrating golf ball, finally accepting problem 7, drawing pins, which was presented by Ibraim. We really don’t know where those grades came from, as his solution was among our best reports (seriously). Then, Bárbara was the reviewer for problem 12, lanterns (presented by Slovakia), with the help of Guilherme, who was reponsible for this problem. In the end, Liara was our opponent for problem 1, gaussian cannon (presented by the Netherlands), also with Guilherme’s help. We finished in 10th, not what we were expecting, but that was in the top 10 after all, and granted us the best Brazilian result (in percentage) in the tournament’s history, with a bronze medal.

Then, the tournament was over to us. There was a party for the competitors, the final fight with Iran, Singapore and South Korea, tours, a trip to Lake Constance, the closing ceremony and the trip to Stuttgart.

If you want to check all the partial grades and results of all the teams in the competiton, you may acess it though this link. All the videos from the team of Brazil 2012 fights are on YouTube.



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