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Physics Prize 2024

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Drake University takes great pleasure in conducting the 2024 Drake Physics Prize Examination. Since 1970, we have offered this scholarship opportunity to encourage interest in physics, astronomy, and physical sciences, and to give recognition to outstanding high-school students. The awards are:

  • First place: an unrestricted four-year, full-tuition scholarship to Drake University, a personal trophy. The winner's name will be engraved in the Drake Physics Trophy, which will be retained in the Drake Department of Physics and Astronomy for display.
  • Second place: personal trophy
  • Third place: personal trophy
  • Honorable mention (next 25 placers): certificate of achievement

The Top 50 seniors will be invited to apply for a second four-year, full-tuition scholarship, restricted to physics or astronomy majors, to be awarded based upon overall academic record, recommendations, and an interview to be conducted in April 2024. The runner-up will receive a smaller scholarship, depending on the available budget.

The Drake Physics Prize Test will cover topics in physics that would normally be studied by students during the first semester of their high school physics course: kinematics, dynamics (Newton’s laws), circular motion, universal law of gravitation, harmonic motion (simple pendulum and mass-spring systems), impulse, linear momentum, conservation of momentum and collisions, work, energy and conservation of energy, torque, rotational kinematics, dynamics and energy, angular momentum conservation, mechanical waves, and sound.

The entire test will be multiple-choice and administered through a weblink (Qualtrix). If needed, a tie for the highest score will be broken through a follow-up interview. Times are listed below:

  • February 7, 2024 at 9:00 AM CST and 6:00 PM CST
  • February 8, 2024 at 12:00 PM CST and 4:00 PM CST
  • February 9, 2024 at 8:00 AM CST and 1:00 PM CST

Students are now able to register online. The link below will allow you to register for one of the available time slots:


Students are encouraged to let their teacher know that they participate, but they do not need to have a proctor. A Drake faculty member will supervise the test via a simultaneous Zoom link.

For questions or concerns about the exam, please email the department at

For more information about the Physics & Astronomy program at Drake, please visit the department’s home page:

Drake University values academic integrity.  Use of any unapproved outside assistance (such as ChatGPT or other AI tools, search engines or assistance from other students/friends/family) will result in disqualification for this prize.


Yours sincerely,

Klaus Bartschat, Physics Prize Director
Ellis & Nelle Levitt Professor of Physics
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Drake University

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