About the Swiss Selection

The national selection in a nutshell

The Swiss Selection 2017 will happen in the University of Fribourg on the 3rd of December.

Following the format of the international competition, the participating teams have to work in advance on at least two, and ideally three problems amongst the four selected from the official 2017 problems list, then present and defend their solutions in front of other participants and jury members. The most full solutions mix theoretical models and experimental measurements that, hopefully, match !

For more details about the principles of the competition, see the IPT portal.

Problems of the Swiss Selection

These four problems are taken from the official IPT 2017 Problem List. 

1. Handy gliderglider

It is possible to make small gliders with paper and to make them fly for a very long time by putting your hand below the glider during flight. Explain the physics behind this phenomenon and describe the optimal set of parameters for the best control of the glider.

2. Tea with honey

Construct a device to continuously stir a cup of tea with a tea spoon of honey at the bottom. The device should be operated using a single 1.5V AA battery and the honey should be dissolved and uniformly distributed in the minimum possible time. Propose your own criterion for determining the homogeneity of the stirred solution. How will using the sugar instead of honey, or adding a slice of lemon to your tea influence the results?

3. LEGO Towerlego2

A LEGO mold, water and gelatin can be used to produce jelly, or ‘gummy’ LEGO bricks. It is possible to build towers using these gummy LEGO bricks in the same way as can be achieved with their plastic counterparts. What is the maximum height of gummy LEGO tower that can be built and how does this depend on the concentration of gelatin in the bricks?

4. Light-driven vehicle

Build a toy car that is powered by an external light source. What is the maximum speed that the car can reach if it starts moving from rest? The light source cannot be moving with the car and is limited to 5 W of power consumption. What are the important parameters that influence the final speed of the car?

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