Math, Physics Competition Open to High School Students

February 24, 2022

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – High school students can demonstrate their math and physics knowledge to earn prizes and hear from a popular YouTube mathematician during a competition at Illinois Wesleyan University. 

The High School Math and Physics Competition will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, at the Center for Natural Sciences at Illinois Wesleyan. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

Participants will compete individually and on teams to solve mathematics tests and physics experiments. Students will be graded mostly based on their work and methodology, not only upon their conclusions. Besides testing their understanding for a chance to earn prizes, the competition also allows high school students to network with current Illinois Wesleyan students and professors who are in STEM fields.

The event is hosted by two IWU student clubs – Society for Physics Students and Pi Mu Epsilon, the mathematics honors society. Titan students from the participating clubs will be available to give tours around campus and answer questions.

At the conclusion of the event, participants will hear from popular mathematician Grant Sanderson, who is the event’s keynote speaker. With more than four million subscribers, Sanderson’s YouTube channel, 3Blue1Brown, uses visual techniques to teach high-level mathematics.  

Each winning team will receive a cash prize of $500 to split between members, and the top physics and junior/senior mathematics team members will each receive a $2,000 scholarship to attend Illinois Wesleyan. Additionally, the top-scoring individual in each of the three categories will receive a $150 prize. A pair of AirPods will also be raffled to a participant. 

Students can compete in 4-person teams in three categories, or can compete solo in the individual test. There is no cost to register and lunch is provided. Individual students or sponsoring math or physics teachers from high schools can register at www.iwu.edu/stem-competition. A limited number of spots are available.

Consent forms and more information will be emailed to participating students after registration is complete. Consent forms must be completed and emailed to Associate Professor of Mathematics Dan Roberts at drobert1@iwu.edu, or printed and turned in at the start of the event. 

By Julia Perez