BC’S Brightest Minds Competition to Award Top Young BC Science Students $3,000 Scholarship



Vancouver, BC – May 1, 2009 - On Tuesday, May 5, 2009 secondary school students from across the Province will be competing in the fourth annual BC’s Brightest Minds Competition at Playland at the PNE. Playland is proud to partner with MITACS and the University of British Columbia in this opportunity for students to put their classroom physics lessons into real-life application.

A team of UBC Physics department educators develops the questions, monitors the competition, marks the papers and determines the winners.

The competition will feature two-person teams from schools all over BC. Each team will be given a series of physics problems and the winning team takes home a $3,000 scholarship ($1,500 each). There will also be trophies for second and third place winners.

MITACS is proud to support the BC’s Brightest Minds Competition, as part of its national outreach program. MITACS’s activities also include a national mathematics outreach program which aims to inspire kids’ interest in mathematics and provide them with the opportunity to develop their math skills in a fun setting. MITACS will be piloting MathAmaze, a new web-based game, with a series of tournaments throughout the duration of Science and Physics Days at Playland. Students can visit the MathAmaze booth to play in the multiplayer game.

Celebrating its 22nd anniversary in 2009, the Amusement Park Physics program held annually at Playland Amusement Park draws over 30,000 students annually from across British Columbia and Washington State. Developed by Surrey high school science teacher Jim Wiese and based on using the principles of physics and mathematics to answer a series of problems involving a number of the theme park’s rides, the Amusement Park Physics program has become one of the highlights of the school year for more than 30,000 students, and the model for similar programs used around the world.

EVENT DATE: Tuesday, May 5, 2009
LOCATION: Playland at the PNE
TIME: 8:30 am (event start at Roller Coaster)
9:00 am – 12:00 noon (students complete questions)
AWARDS: 2:00 pm

PARKING: Gate 9 (off Bridgeway Street)
For more information about Science and Physics Days at Playland at the PNE please visit: www.pne.ca. For more information on MITACS please visit: www.mitacs.math.ca.

MITACS (www.mitacs.ca) is a Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE) for the mathematical sciences with offices across Canada. The only Canadian organization of its kind, it focuses on developing mathematical solutions in five of the economy’s fastest growing sectors: biomedical and health, environment and natural resources, information processing, risk and finance and communication, networks and security. Each MITACS research project partners academic scientists and their graduate students from universities across the country with Canadian organizations.

About the PNE:
Owned by the City of Vancouver, the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) is a healthy and vibrant non-profit charity organization dedicated to providing over 3 million visitors a year with first-class cultural, sporting and family entertainment events. Founded in 1910, the PNE operates from a 114-acre site at Hastings Park, a multi-facility venue in Vancouver where the organization operates four business streams: an annual 17-day Fair, Playland
Amusement Park, maintenance and care of the Hasting Park site and management of the site’s year-round facilities. These facilities are utilized to celebrate a variety of hockey, amateur sporting, music, community, social, cultural and commercial events throughout the year.


For more information, please contact:
Laura Ballance
Media Relations
Pacific National Exhibition
604.252.3533 (direct)
604.771.5176 (cell)



Media contact

Adam Austen
Manager, Communications
514-705-8355 | aausten@mitacs.ca
Jacqueline Mason
Director, Communications
514-247-0542 | jmason@mitacs.ca