27 Aug 2020

Thursday 27 August 2020

HOD Physics Bryan Sapsworth brings us up to date with recent student successes.

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The Australian Big Science Competition

This is a challenging test on all the Science Disciplines for students across Australia and New Zealand. Alex Grant (Year 10, Peart) achieved a result that put him in the top few of all the students participating.

Year 10 Category

Alex Grant – High Distinction 27/30
Derek Peng (Year 10, Greenbank) – Distinction 26/30.

NZ Physics and Mathematics Competition

The NZPMC is a nationwide standardised Physics and Mathematics Competition for High School students of all year levels throughout New Zealand. Students participated during lockdown and completed the challenge during the recent school holidays.

Summary of achievements are

  • Eli Liu (Year 9, Averill), 3rd in Year 9.
  • Derek Peng (Greenbank) 6th in Year 10
  • Ashley Yang (Marion Bruce) 4th in Year 12
  • Alvin Zhu (Averill) 5th in Year 12
  • Audrey Fung (Marion Bruce) 6th in Year 12
  • Ingrid Fung (Marion Bruce) 7th in Year 13
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EPro 8 Engineering Competition

Students in teams of four complete challenges by building structures and using logical circuits to make things happen.

It is an excellent competition because it has a strong team dynamic component. The students need to decide on a plan very quickly and work as one to get it made.

We had 4 Senior teams and 2 Junior teams who practised with some equipment that I organised from EPro 8. They competed in the South Auckland heats on:

  • Wednesday 29th July (Seniors) and
  • Thursday 30th July (Juniors).

The senior competition was very close with the King’s number 3 team taking an early lead. The other three King’s teams all got to second at some stage during the night. Three of our teams got stuck on a particular aspect which allowed other teams to catch up.

After 2 and ½ hours it was all decided in the last ten minutes when the King’s 1 team managed to complete one last task just before the buzzer. King’s 3 who were dominant on the night managed first and secure a place in the Final in three weeks, while the King’s 1 team managed 3rd with a wait now to see if they have enough points for the final.

The other two King’s team had reliability issues with their constructions which cost them valuable time in the last hour.

In the Junior competition the King’s 1 team took an early lead to then be surpassed by the King’s 2 team for a while. It was clear the King’s teams were good and in the end the King’s 1 team managed to hold on with a close run of points in the final few minutes. King’s 2 would have had first if it wasn’t for a loose wingnut! The King’s 2 (only 20 points behind, less than a challenge away) got second tied with 2 other teams (Sancta Maria and Glendowie).

This meant that both these teams make it to the Semi-finals.

Even though the King’s teams were leaders on both days they won with grace and sportsmanship.


• King’s 1 – 3rd place – Timon Tasker, Brad Hall, Morgan Baxter and Seb Wharton – 470 points.
• King’s 2 – 9th place – Nathaniel Masfen-Yan, Ollie Vannoort, Tama Morris, Hanbo Xie – 380 points.
• King’s 3 – 1st place – Alvin Zhu, Ashley Yang, Ingrid Fung, Ethan Kyle – 530 points!
• King’s 4 – 10th place – Henry Li, Daniel Jang, Felix Duan, David Li – 280 points.

• King’s 1 – 1st place- Aidan Siu, Ethan Huang, Raniera Whiu, Derek Peng – 400 points
• King’s 2 – 2nd place – Christian French, Thomas Hageman, Daniel Haines, Eli Liu – 380 points

New Zealand Engineering Science Competition
28 King’s students in 7 teams spent Saturday the 1st August from 10am to 6pm answering a single question.

The question was “How many satellites can be launched into orbit before astronomers on earth can no longer observe the night sky without interruption?”which seems to be straight forward until you start looking into it and seeing all the complications.

The students needed to use Mathematical modelling, Scientific and Research skills to form their answer in this brain numbing day.

It is amazing that after such a long day they still hand the answers in with only a few minutes/seconds to spare.

The results won’t be known until the end of October when the University of Auckland has marked the 280 entries from across NZ

Bryan Sapsworth
(HOD Physics)