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College is a time set aside to attack the big questions.  Physics is a study of the natural laws governing the universe and is loaded with big questions.  What came before the Big Bang?  What is Dark Matter? Why is ice slippery?

The Canisius Big Physics Question is a contest for high school students to answer a big question related to Physics. 



The awards are:

First Place: $750.00 Canisius College scholarship and $100.00 gift card.

Second Place: $500.00 Canisius College scholarship

Third Place: $250.00 Canisius College scholarship.




 *** 2019-2020 Big Physics Question ***

2018-2019 Big Physics Question 

2017-2018 Big Physics Question


The Rules

  1. The entry must be no more than 500 words typed.  Graphs, tables, and equations are encouraged but are not required and will not be counted in the length of the essay.
  2. Submission must be accepted by February 1, 2020.  Only one entry per high school student (grades 9-12).  A single winner will be announced on Feb. 15 by Twitter at @CanUphysics.
  3. The entry must be the original work of the student.  The essay will be judged on creativity, clarity, and feasibility.
  4. Entries should be submitted electronically to Dr. Michael Wood at wood5@canisius.edu or by postal service to the following address

Dr. Michael Wood, Chair of the Department of Physics

Canisius College

2001 Main St.

Buffalo, NY 14208

The entry must include the following:

  • Student’s full name
  • Name of high school that the student attends
  • Student’s grade level
  • Student’s contact information (email address, telephone, mailing address)
  • Name of student’s high school science teacher.


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