High schoolers ask to ponder time for essay contest

Dec 31, 2018

Area high school students are encouraged to participate in an essay contest.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the Canisius College Physics Department is calling on students to ponder a big question about time.



Students don’t have to build a time machine, but they are being asked to write about a big question facing the field of physics today; why does time only move forward and not backward?

Photo of time click on iPhone.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley


“Why is time special? What makes it different from everything else?” said Michael Wood, chair of Canisius College Physic Department.


Wood tells WBFO News they want students to ponder "the nature of time".


“But time is the only one that goes forward.  You can only go toward in time. You can’t go back in time. You know you can go left and then you can go right. You can go up and you can go down. You can change your direction in space, but - we only go forward,” remarked Wood.  “We only get older. So we want students to think about it. Why is time special? What makes it different from everything else?”  


The Canisius College Big Physics Question is a chance for high school students to think on a college level.


“I’ve met a number of students - one of them - he actually came to me and showed me that he built his own computer from scratch,” Wood recalled. 


The essays on time must not exceed 500-typed words.  Graphs, tables and equations are encouraged, but are not required. 

Students must submit their essay by January tenth.  


One winner will be announced February 15th on the Department's Twitter page @CanUPhysics. The winner will receive $100. 


Wood says the essay will be judged on creativity, clarity, and feasibility.


“And critical thinking,” Wood noted. 


You can learn more about the essay contest by clicking here