Sixth formers displayed their physics and engineering credentials as they took first place in Weizmann UK’s annual safe-cracking tournament.
The winning team, made up of five boys from the Lower Sixth, saw off challenges from more than one hundred students and a dozen other schools to claim top spot.
The competition, held at Dulwich College on Sunday 4 February, saw students using their physics knowledge to break into securely locked devices created by other teams.
Each team had to be able to open their own safe in under five minutes, but needed to keep their opponents stumped for at least ten minutes.
The three top UK teams, including Tonbridge, will now head to the prestigious Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel next month to take part in an international safe-cracking tournament, where they will be up against teams from a dozen countries.
Phil Deakin, Head of Physics, said: “We are delighted by the result. It is a credit to the boys, who were self-motivated and devoted many hours of their own time to the project. What makes the Weizmann Institute’s competition so special is the combination of the theoretical physics side with the practical skills needed to build the safe. There is also a bit of creativity thrown in. It is excellent preparation for university applications, undergraduate study and future careers in science.”
A second Tonbridge team narrowly missed out on a top three position. Prizes were announced by Professor Marcus du Sautoy OBE, Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford.
Matthew Barker (PS4), a member of the winning team, added: “Building our safe has been a real labour of love. It is such a rewarding experience and we have learned so much along the way. It is now an incredible opportunity to be going to Israel.”
The competition was judged by a panel of experts from organisations including the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Institute of Physics and Bletchley Park.