The National Physics Talent Contest (NPTC),
which was inspired by and is meant to prepare Pakistani Students
for participation in the International Physics Olympiad, is a
regular annual event since 1995. It is conducted in five stages.
In the first stage about 1000 educational institutions throughout
the country, which offer science education at intermediate or
A-level, are invited to nominate their best students who have
secured 75% or more marks in physics and mathematics in their
metric or O-level examination for participation in the Contest.
The second stage consists of a screening test
that is held in major cities of the country on the basis of which
the top 50 students are selected from among these and other students
of similar academic standing, who apply against advertisements
in the press.
The third stage consists of a weeklong intensive
training Camp, which is held at PIEAS during the end of August
where students are coached and tested in theory in the mornings
and in experiments in the afternoons. In between they are shown
the experimental facilities in Nilore Complex and in the evenings
they meet a renowned scientist or engineer, who is invited to
share his/her research interests with them. Each day of the Camp
is named after a renowned scientist such as Alberuni, Galileo
and Newton, etc, whose contributions is the focus of discussions
that day. A team of 12-15 students is selected for the next phase
on the basis of their performance during the camp and the experimental
and theoretical exam on the last day of the Camp, the Day of Judgment.
All of the students participating in the Camp are awarded prizes
in the form of a standard physics textbook, usually University
Physics by H. D. Young and R. A. Freedman. These students also
become Alumni of NPTC, which entitles them to receive the quarterly
newsletter of the Contest.
For the fourth phase of the Contest students,
who are short listed during the 1st Camp, are invited to a
second one-week Camp towards the end of December. The
experimental and theoretical training during this Camp is much
more focused. On the basis
of their performance during the camp and a more formal test on
the last day of the camp 7-8 students are selected for the next
stage of the Contest.
These 7-8 students are invited to PIEAS for another
weeklong Camp for the fifth phase of the Contest, which is more
or less identical to the previous Camp. The five-member Pakistani
team for participation in the international Physics Olympiad and
the winners of the Contest are selected at the end of this Camp.
All of these five students are awarded merit certificates and
the top five students are also awarded cash prizes worth 20,000
each . The team members are coached for another week before their
departure for the Olympiad.
The Chief Guest, who is normally the President
or the Prime Minister, awards these prizes during the inaugural
ceremony of the International Nathiagali Summer College of Physics
and Contemporary Needs. President Pervez Musharraf awarded these
prizes to the winner of the previous three Contests.