NBPhO News

  • Results published

    The final results of NBPhO 2020 have now been published under “NBPhO 2020”.

  • Results will be published today

    Dear Contestants, the grading process has taken a bit longer than anticipated, but we hope to get the results out by midday today. Thank you for your patience.

    Update 12:45 (UTC+3): still few hours before we can publish.

    Update 16:30 (UTC+3): preliminary results are published under “NBPhO 2020”

  • A quick overview of the ongoing olympiad

    NBPhO 2020 is currently going on and we have 109 participants from 12 different countries. Organizing a competition of this magnitude online is a totally new experience to all of us. Luckily everything is going very well at the moment. Here is the list of countries with the number of participants indicated in brackets:

    Estonia (21)
    Finland (19)
    Latvia (13)
    Sweden (17)
    Russia (6)
    Switzerland (4)
    Germany (5)
    Romania (6)
    Slovenia (3)
    Bosnia & Herzegovina (4)
    Saudi Arabia (6)
    Brazil (5)

    One of the many Zoom breakout rooms (screenshot by Miha Marttinen):

  • Additional information for students
    • The students need the following equipment: mobile application “Physics Toolbox Suite” or “Physics Toolbox Pro” (they should indicate which version of the Toolbox they are using), 1 litre bottle with water, a second container that can store a litre of water, a small (about 100 ml) cup of known volume (or other tool for measuring water volumes), paper, pencils, erasers, snacks, water, calculator.
    • If your internet connection fails, contact one of the coaches of your country.
    • Make sure the coaches of your country have your phone number, in case they detect a connection failure and need to inform you.
    • We allow the same device for streaming and for viewing of the problems.
    • You do not need to remove labels from your snacks or water bottles.
    • Toilet breaks are allowed during the competition and there is no need to inform us about it.

    One possible set of containers (example):

  • Information about NBPhO 2020 for competitors and team leaders

    Generally about the competition

    NBPhO 2020 will be an online competition held on Saturday, May 16th, 2020, between 10:00-15:00 o’clock (UTC+3). Problems will be distributed via e-mail ( and also posted on the website ( Preliminary results will be announced on Sunday, May 17th, 2020, and final results on Tuesday, May 19th, 2020.

    Special rules

    Mostly standard rules: no help from the Internet, no help from other people, no graphical calculators.

    The competitor should be able to attend a live video stream via “Zoom” conference, which will be made available to all competitors. If the competitor is not able to attend the live video stream, they must be capable of recording themselves throughout the entire competition (5 hours). The person’s face and answer sheets must be visible on the video. If the competitor uses an electronic device to view the problems, the device must be visible on the video. We will not request to see the recording made by the competitor, unless we suspect cheating. If the competitor is not able to comply with these rules, all points will be taken from them.

    Submitting the solutions

    Solutions must be submitted to the aforementioned e-mail address ( on Saturday, May 16th, 2020, before 15.15 (UTC+3).

    The students are required to hand in their solutions in pdf file format. For this, we suggest to use “CamScanner” which is freely available for Android/iPhone/iPad/WinPhone. Using the application, it is possible to easily produce neat looking pdf files. The competitor should take some time before the competition to test the application. Each problem should be individually scanned and each paper should clearly indicate what problem is answered and a code which can be related to the student. The file name should indicate the above two (STUDENTCODE_PROBLEMCODE.pdf).

    Custom made tutorial for using CamScanner:

    Testing session

    Testing session will be held on Thursday, May 14th, 2020, at 18:00 o’clock (UTC+3) via “Zoom” conference, which will be made available to all competitors.


    Students need to submit a written claim based on the grading scheme where they propose alternative grading for their solution. This should be done within 24 hours after the announcement of the results.

    The grader either accepts or rejects the proposal. The grader can also choose to communicate with the student directly through a communication channel of their liking (Zoom, Skype etc).

    Guest teams

    Guest teams from countries which have shown interest are allowed to participate. The number of competitors will be limited to 5 competitors per guest team.