Gregory school students

Five Gregory School students will travel to Israel to participate in the Shalheveth Freier International Physics Tournament this April. The team will build a safe and attempt to crack safes made by other schools around the world during the three day competition.

Juniors Elaine Wright, Jaiveer Katariya, Daniel Leighou, Tianyi Zhu, and senior Moritz Gloesslein were selected for the school’s team. Twelve students applied in hopes of attending the tournament. Juniors and seniors were eligible to apply for one of the five spots. Jaiveer Katariya said, “I’m extremely honored that I have the opportunity to represent our community in Israel.”

Held at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, the tournament aims to teach students about physics principles by having them design a safe. According to physics teacher Dennis Conner, these safes are like riddles. “It’s kind of like solving a puzzle using physics principles,” Conner said.

Last year, just seven out of the seventy-two teams attending the tournament at the Weizmann Institute were from the United States. According to Conner, it is tough to attend this tournament because participating in it requires a space where the team can prepare.

The new fabrication lab on campus will serve as this space. To participate in the tournament, the school also had to secure funding to pay for the cost of traveling abroad.

For the next three months, Conner and the team of five students will continue to prepare for the tournament. Right now, they are working on building and designing the safe that they will take to Israel. Later on, they will work to prepare for cracking the other team’s safe.

Conner said, “Typically, they expect you to solve the other team’s safe in ten minutes if you know what you’re doing. However, you have 30 minutes in front of another team’s safe and you try to figure it out.”

A lot of preparation will be required in order to be viable contenders among all the other teams from around the world. The team will prepare up until the tournament, which is held during the first week of April, 2016. Junior Elaine Wright said, “We’ll be up against very talented and experienced teams.”

Wright said, “We’re still finalizing the itinerary, but I know it will be an amazing experience.” The tournament will last one week, and the students will tour Israel while they are not participating in the tournament activities.