Problems for NZYST 2022 

The 7 problems are :

 

1. Matches on fire 

When the outermost match in a regular array of matches is lit, the following matches ignite one by one. Investigate the parameters that determine the speed for such a fire wave.

2. Frosty patterns 

Patterns similar to frost on a winter window are obtained if magnesium sulphate in solution is deposited on a glass surface. Investigate this effect.

3. Ship wakes 

The wave pattern produced by a ship moving on the water is visually similar to a Mach cone and depends on various parameters. Investigate the effect.

4. Seeing through pinholes 

An opaque sheet with regularly arranged pinholes corrects myopia similar to corrective lenses. Explain this effect and introduce parameters to describe image perception by myopic humans with and without pinhole glasses. 

5. Rubber bands heat engine 

All the spokes in a bicycle wheel are replaced by rubber bands. If the rubber bands on one side of the wheel are heated, the wheel starts to rotate. Investigate this effect.

6. Coloured fire 

It is easy to colorize a flame using various chemicals. Identify the chemicals needed to get a specific color and investigate what colour is obtained if a mix of two chemicals is used.

7. Invent Yourself: Biological clock 

Examples of timing processes in living organisms are plants opening their flowers at particular times of the day or sleep-wake cycles in humans. Propose a problem concerning rhythms and timing in the species of your choice.

Writing your own "Invent Yourself" original problem

"Invent yourself" problems are open ended starters. You need to choose your own original problem that focuses on an interesting aspect of the phenomenon. This will need to be formally written and disclosed to the other teams prior to the tournament.

eg. In 2018 there was a problem:

13. Invent Yourself: Blood pressure
Study the accuracy of various methods to measure blood pressure. Propose an interesting study
involving blood pressure and pulse.

The NZ team investigated and submitted:

"13. Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure is inherently variable. Investigate how this phenomenon affects the reliability of different methods used to diagnose hypertension."

Problems for NZYST 2021 

The 7 problems are :

 

1. Coin in a balloon
An inflated air balloon contains a coin and is gently moved to set the coin rolling around the inside of the balloon. Explain and investigate the buzzing sound produced in this experiment.


2. Liquid layers
Water and vegetable oil do not mix and form two layers in a beaker. It is possible to fill the beaker with many more layers of immiscible fluids. How many layers can you obtain?


3. Lake water
A drop of water from a natural pond may contain bacteria, archaea, algae, fungi, protozoa, and other organisms. Perform observations to identify as many species of living organisms as possible. What are the chances that another drop contains a different selection of species?


4. Tall towers
A tower is built by stacking rectangular bricks on top of each other. Some people argue that the maximum height of the tower is limited by the human skill to place the bricks gently; others may say that the limiting factor is non-perfect shape of the bricks. Perform experiments to outline the factors that limit the maximum height of such a tower.


5. Salt and ice
Study the effectiveness of salt to melt ice cubes.


6. Zinc layers
If a copper coin and small granules of zinc are immersed into a solution of zinc sulphate and then heated, a layer of zinc appears on the coin. What is the thickness of the zinc layer? What other metals can be covered with zinc in such an experiment? Investigate and explain the effect.


7. Invent Yourself: Standing waves
Formulate a problem about an interesting experiment where standing waves are observed.

Writing your own "Invent Yourself" original problem

"Invent yourself" problems are open ended starters. You need to choose your own original problem that focuses on an interesting aspect of the phenomenon. This will need to be formally written and disclosed to the other teams prior to the tournament.

eg. In 2018 there was a problem:

13. Invent Yourself: Blood pressure
Study the accuracy of various methods to measure blood pressure. Propose an interesting study
involving blood pressure and pulse.

The NZ team investigated and submitted:

"13. Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure is inherently variable. Investigate how this phenomenon affects the reliability of different methods used to diagnose hypertension."

Problems for NZYST 2020 

The 7 problems were :

 

1. Slow match

A cord in which the flame front propagates with a constant low speed has been important to ignite cannons. Produce such cords and investigate their burn rates and other properties.

 

2. Popping buoy

A light ball is held underwater and then released. The ball may sometimes pop above the water surface. Investigate this effect and the role of important parameters.

 

3. Disinfectants

Prepare sterile culture dishes and investigate the growth of door handle bacteria and other common microorganisms. Investigate how various disinfectants, such as antibacterial soap, affect the bacteria.

 

4. Magnet and matchstick

A matchstick is not attracted to a magnet, however the head of a burned matchstick is attracted by a strong magnet. Investigate the reasons and the role of relevant parameters.

 

5. Hydrogen release

A simple method to produce gaseous hydrogen is the reaction between metal aluminum and two salts in aqueous solution (e.g. copper sulphate and sodium chloride). Investigate how the reaction rate depends on the concentration of each salt and other relevant conditions. What salts react with aluminum to release hydrogen?

 

6. Onion cells

Investigate the effects of various salts on the structure of onion cells.

 

7. Invent yourself: Soap production

Vegetable and animal oils and fats are historically used to make soap. Investigate how physical and chemical properties of such soap depend on ingredients and recipes, and propose an interesting problem concerning soap-making from easily accessible ingredients.

Writing your own "Invent Yourself" original problem

"Invent yourself" problems are open ended starters. You need to choose your own original problem that focuses on an interesting aspect of the phenomenon. This will need to be formally written and disclosed to the other teams prior to the tournament.

eg. In 2018 there was a problem:

13. Invent Yourself: Blood pressure
Study the accuracy of various methods to measure blood pressure. Propose an interesting study
involving blood pressure and pulse.

The NZ team investigated and submitted:

"13. Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure is inherently variable. Investigate how this phenomenon affects the reliability of different methods used to diagnose hypertension."

Problems for NZYST 2019 

The 7 problems were :

 

1. Sunflower spirals

Patterns of seeds in the head of a sunflower have a very specific geometric structure. How can one describe and explain such a structure? What other plants demonstrate similar geometric patterns in their leaves or seeds?

 

2. Burning glass

Propose and test various methods to start a fire with a magnifying glass.

 

3. Smells

Smells spread through the air, however it would take some time before a human nose is able to detect the smell. Study different aspects of odor diffusion and sensation of odor by humans.

 

4. Fading in sunlight

Printed pages fade in direct sunlight, especially if certain types of ink and paper are used. Propose quantitative parameters to study the prolonged exposure of ink and paper to sunlight.

 

5. Elastic bones

Chicken bones kept in acidic conditions for a few days become elastic. Perform such an experiment in controlled conditions and investigate what components of bones are responsible for their mechanical properties.

 

6. Yeast

Investigate the rate of the multiplication of yeast at different temperatures.

 

7. Moon

The apparent size of the Moon perceived by an observer depends on multiple factors. Investigate these factors and their role.

UPCOMING EVENTS

2022 NZYST
NZYPT 2022