IYPT Sweden: Rules and regulations

Author: Sam Edgecombe

Approved by the board: 13th December 2023

§ 0 Preliminary

IYPT Sweden is a not-for-profit organization whose goal is to prepare, select and send a team of five (5) 16-19 year old students at Swedish High School (gymnasium) to the IYPT finals each year. This document outlines the procedure of the competition including rough dates and timelines.

§ 1 Registration for teachers (April-)

Already in the April/May of the preceding summer, an application form is sent out to all high school physics teachers who are on our mailing list in order for them to register their interest as an IYPT supervisor. 

§ 2 Problem Ranking Committee (August)

At the end of July each year, 17 new problems are published on iypt.org for the IYPT finals for the following year. At the beginning of August, the Swedish Problem Ranking Committee (Team leaders, teachers and former IYPT participants) meet to discuss which of these 17 problems are most suitable for students in Sweden to start on (marked Green) and which problems are best to avoid (Red). This list is shared internally with the teachers registered in § 1. However all 17 IYPT problems can still be reported at the Swedish national selection.

§ 3 Start of the competition (August)

In August, when the school term starts, teachers are encouraged to present the Green problems from § 2 to their students. An open invitation to start working on an IYPT problem  is even published on our website iypt.se. Students chose one of the IYPT tasks to start working on, either alone or in small groups. Students are invited to fill in a pre-registration form to register that they are working on an IYPT problem and also to register their interest in the IYPT competition. This is important so that we know how many people IYPT engages in Sweden, not least for our sponsors.

§ 4 Autumn Workshops (October-November)

Around October/November time, a weekend workshop is offered in a couple of major cities (Currently Lund and Stockholm). Participation is open for all but a small fee to cover food (and accommodation) may be taken by IYPT Sweden. The main goal of the Autumn workshops is to be introduced to the problems and start working on a setup. Experienced members of the board, IYPT alumni and some teachers are also normally present to help supervise the workshop. 

§ 5 Call for submissions

Then in December/Jan of the current IYPT year, an application form is sent out to all IYPT supervisors and students working actively on the IYPT problems of the current year inviting them to send in presentations for assessment in order to qualify for the Swedish national selection process. Students must send in a presentation of approximately 12 minutes in length. A group of IYPT team leaders, teachers and former IYPT participants ranks these applications on their merit and the best applicants are invited to the Swedish National Selections.

§ 6 National Selection (March/April)

During the national selection, students are expected to present their presentation and also oppose another student’s presentation. We recommend that they use our presentation and opposition templates which we share with them prior to the tournament. Students are graded by a jury of at least 5 members who are for the most part physics graduates and former IYPT team leaders/jurors. The current IYPT scoresheet is used.

The costs for return travel to the National Selection and food during the selection is covered by IYPT Sweden. 

§ 6.1 Format of the tournament

The role of the presenter is to, during 12 minutes, demonstrate the problem, describe the physics theory both qualitatively (and quantitatively), conduct an investigation of the relevant parameters, present their results in graphical form, compare experiment with theory and finally conclude, acknowledging any sources. 

Opponents are required to ask clarifying questions then produce a (max) 4 minute opposition speech summarizing the presentation, highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the report and bring up areas for discussion. Then the opponent leads a 10 min scientific discussion with the reporter discussing the main points of the report. 

Students are then giving a grade from 1-10 for their report and opposition. Report grades are multiplied by a factor of 3 and opposition grades by a factor of 2. All students must report and oppose. The order of the fights is determined by the board of IYPT Sweden and presented at least one week prior to the tournament. 

At the end of the selection, the top 5 participants are named Team Sweden are offered to participate in the IYPT final. The next 5 are offered a reserve place. Prizes may be awarded. 

§ 7 Working phase of the Team (April-June)

Each team member must be responsible for producing 2-3 different IYPT presentations which are alloted in discussion between the Team Leaders and members. The role of captain is decided by interviewing all team members and a decision is then taken by the board.

Between April and June is the working phase of Team Sweden where members must prepare their presentations (and oppositions) to a select number of problems. Teams are then coached as to how to improve the reports and oppositions and also on the role of the reviewer. Preferably, this training is done online with weekly sessions. It is the role of the Team Leaders to organize these sessions

§ 8 Preparation Week (June)

There are two main functions of the preparation week. One is to get any final data that are needed to add to their presentation, but mainly to rehearse physics fights where students alternate in being the role of reporter, opponent and reviewer. In this way they get to practice all roles prior to the tournament and get to work together as a team.  In one fight there should be one reporter, two on the opponent team and two on the reviewer team. 

§ 9 IYPT Finals

IYPT Sweden then sends a team of five students, one Team Leader Juror and one Team Leader to the IYPT finals in July. If the budget allows, more participants may be sent to participate as jurors/observers. Prior to, during and just after each fight, there should be de-briefing sessions between the Team and the Team Leaders so that teams know which problems to oppose and which to reject and also to reflect on their performance in the current round. 

The costs for return travel to the IYPT final and the participation fee is covered by IYPT Sweden.