3 Minute Wonder competition

15 January 2015

On 20 November 2014, an excitable, whooping, drum-rolling, clapping, biscuit-guzzling audience gathered at Leicester University for this year’s East Midlands Branch 3 Minute Wonder competition.

3 Minute Wonder competition

This year the competition was in two sections: early-years researchers explaining their own research, and A-level students explaining the physics of the everyday.

The contestants from both sections were challenged to explain their physics in just three minutes, using only one slide but as many props as they liked. Each talk was judged by a panel of experts in a Strictly Come Dancing-style score out of ten. Points were also deducted for running over or under the allocated three minutes.

The judging panel consisted of David Lomer, head of Physics at Wyggeston & QEI College, Peter Warzynski from the Leciester Mercury, Christopher Castleton, lecturer at Nottingham Trent University and Alex Pereira from Weatherford.

The six contestants were Portia Berry-Kilby from De-Lisle Catholic Academy, Keelan Hassell from Robert Smyth Academy, Theodore Hughes-Riley from Nottingham Trent University, Suji Sogbesan from Loughborough University, Jacob Spear from Nottingham Trent University and Maria-Theresia Walach from Leicester University.

Competition was tough as the contestants dazzled the judges with not only their knowledge of physics but also their comedy, poetry, music and magnetic-resonance-dance (!) skills. Portia Berry-Kilby and Keelan Hassell were joint winners for the A-level competition and Suji Sogbesan and Maria-Theresia Walach were joint winners for the early-years researchers. Luckily a member of the audience had change for a £10 note and the winners each took away a split of the £250 prize money for each section.