On February 15, seven high school teams competed in Weizmann Canada’s annual semi-finals of the physics safe-cracking tournament. Held at Bialik High School in Côte St. Luc, there were six schools from Montreal, and for the very first year, one from Toronto.
Competing teams included teams A and B from Bialik, teams A and B from Hebrew Academy, Herzliah (Azrieli schools), Miss Edgar’s and Miss Cramp’s School, St. George’s School of Montreal, Tanenbaum CHAT teams A, B, and C, and Ulpanot Orot teams A and B of Toronto.
The two teams chosen to represent Canada are Bialik team B from Montreal, and Ulpanot Orot Team A from Toronto. Winning this local competition means the students will be travelling to Israel to compete in the international tournament on March 28 at the Weizmann Institute of Science. This tournament is part of Weizmann Canada’s commitment to help the Weizmann Institute of Science keep nurturing future scientists by stimulating the love of math and science at all levels.
Participating students formed teams of five and built safes that operate on the principles of physics. They attempted to break into each other’s safes and were judged by a panel of professors, including Orad Reshef, a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Centre for Extreme and Quantum Photonics, University of Ottawa; Tami Pereg-Barnea, assistant professor, Physics Department at McGill University, and Andrea Bianchi, associate professor, Physics Department at the Université de Montréal.
Each team chose a theme. Bialik chose an Antarctic based theme with penguins and glaciers while Ulpanot Orot created one that looks like a slot machine.
“We put a lot of effort into our safe, but we still came to Montreal with the idea to just to have a good time,” said Sarah Zahavi, a Grade 11 student at Ulpanot Orot.
“We really did not expect to win at all but now that we did, we are so excited and happy with the end result.”