Victory for two UK schools in International Safe Cracking Competition

Under Pressure And Team For Web
The team from St Paul's School with their "Under Pressure" safe

Sixth-form students from St Paul’s School and Eltham College have triumphed in the 22nd  International Physics Safe Cracking Tournament which was held at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel on 28-29 March. Eltham College took third place whilst St Paul’s scooped second prize, coming in narrowly behind the overall winning team from Slovenia.

The UK teams did fantastically well to win 2nd and 3rd place, having fought off tough competition from almost 200 teams that entered the early stages of the competition. The 26 highest scoring teams took part in the final from countries including the UK, Israel, USA, Canada, Panama, Romania, Moldova, Angola and Slovenia.

Participating teams (aged 16-17) were tasked with designing a safe which could be cracked only by solving two physics riddles. Each team had to be able to open their own safe in under 5 minutes but needed to keep their opponents stumped for at least 10 minutes.

The teams from St Paul's and Eltham College along with King David’s High School from Manchester had received travel grants to enable them to represent the UK in the International Tournament following their win at the Weizmann UK organised round of the competition which was held at Dulwich College in February.  Prizes were announced at the UK tournament by, Professor Marcus du Sautoy OBE,  Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford.

Eltham College receiving their prize

Sheridan Gould, Executive Director of Weizmann UK said:

 “This tournament is a really unique way of encouraging creativity in the study of physics. We couldn’t be more thrilled that St Paul’s and Eltham College have excelled in this hugely prestigious International competition. It is also wonderful that they have had the opportunity to travel to Israel and experience first-hand the wonder of the Weizmann Institute. ”

The Weizmann UK Safe Cracking Tournament is CREST accredited and students who take part can use their work to gain a Silver CREST Award which is recognised by both UCAS and the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme.  The CREST scheme is run by the British Science Association and accredits science, technology, engineering and maths activities for young people.

If you would like any further information about the tournament, including details of how to enter next year, please contact

See our gallery of images from the UK competition

Read more about the 2017 UK competition

Learn more about our Education Programmes


Published: March 30, 2017

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