Michael Smith Challenge Instructions

[Updated on January 13, 2020]

Part 1: Eligibility

Michael Smith Challenge is designed to be written by students currently taking grade 10 Science or lower. Students who have started their grade 11 science courses for a month or more prior to the Challenge official writing date, or have completed any grade 11 level science course, are not eligible for the competition. Students in non-standard advanced programs that do not follow provincial curriculum standards should contact Michael Smith Challenge prior to registration to prevent possible disqualification.

We understand that this means students in the International Baccalaureate program are not eligible to participate in the Michael Smith Challenge in their grade 10 year if they are already taking grade 11 level science courses for more than a month. However, we encourage these students to participate prior to taking their Science 11 courses, i.e. in Grade 9 or before. Individual students may participate in more than one year.

Part 2: Registration

  • To register a student you must be a teacher or official at the student’s board-accredited school. We do not accept individual registrations by students or their parents. The registration deadline is February 24, 2020.
  • By registering online and providing your contact information, you will be responsible for having the exam correctly proctored in your school and transmitting the students’ answers.
  • There is a marking fee of $6 per script. Cheques can be made payable to the UBC Department of Physics & Astronomy. A credit card payment option is now available – see instructions below.
  • Please keep in mind that this examination may only be taken by students taking Grade 10 Science or lower.
  • You will need a password to access the exam on the day of the competition. This password will be sent to you through email on February 20 or afterward (if you completed your registration after February 20). If you do not receive the password the day before the exam please give us a call or email.
  • If you have questions, please check our FAQ!

Part 3: Supervision

This 1-hour exam is to be written on February 26, 2020, and must take place during the following times:

9:00-10:00AM Pacific

10:00-11:00AM Mountain

11:00-12:00PM Central

12:00-1:00PM Eastern

1:00-2:00PM Atlantic

1:30-2:30PM Newfoundland

The exam will be made available on the main page 2 hours before the exam begins. You can access the exam using the password that you receive through email. After accessing the document, please ensure that you have copies for all the students writing this exam at your school. Before the exam begins, the supervisor should read out the instructions to the students.  The exam must end exactly 60 minutes after the students begin writing, and once the exam is over, all exams must be collected.

Part 4: Payment

2 options of payment are available.

  • Payment by credit card: Please access your registration page and follow the instructions on our online payment system (access to payment options is on the bottom of the web page). Include a copy of the receipt with your exam package.
  • Please ensure you have updated your registration information should any change occur before you submit your payment. We recommend that you pay after students have completed their exams in case of any changes to your registration information. You won’t be able to change the students’ registration information after online payment.
  • Payment by cheque: Include a cheque as described in part 5
  • Overpayment by credit card will be refunded directly back to the credit card. Overpayment by cheque will be refunded by cheque if the overpayment is over fifteen dollars.

Part 5: Submission

By mail: Please send the completed examinations, your payment (either a cheque or a printed confirmation for credit card payment), and a list of students registered (through Canada Post, courier is not necessary) to:

Michael Smith Science Challenge
Department of Physics & Astronomy
6224 Agricultural Road
Vancouver, BC
V6T 1Z1

before the end of the day of the contest. If you are paying by cheque, ensure you include a cheque of $6 per exam, payable to UBC Department of Physics & Astronomy.