Seven Harker students are among the 300 semifinalists nationwide still in the running for the U.S. Physics Olympiad Team! Almost half the Harker students participating were chosen and three of the seven are sophomores.
Semifinalists are Adam Perelman, Kevin Zhang and Andrew Zhou, all Gr. 12; sophomores are Lucy Cheng, Michelle Deng, Ramya Rangan and Albert Wu. This is Zhou’s second time around as a semifinalist.
About 3,200 students nationwide took the initial test for the team, titled the Fnet=ma Exam, in January. The International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) is a nine-day competition among pre-university students from more than 80 nations. The 2010 Olympiad will be held in Zagreb, Croatia, from July 17-25.
Harker’s seven semifinalists will take a second exam to try to make the final round of 24 members. In May, those 24 prospective team members will travel to the University of Maryland-College Park to the U.S. Physics Team training camp to enjoy nine days of intense studying, including mystery labs, daily exams and problem solving. At the end of that camp, five students and an alternate will be selected as the “traveling team” to represent the U. S. at the IPhO.
Last year, three Harker students, Anand Natarajan ’09, Vikram Nathan ’09 and Zhou, then Gr. 11, were chosen to be among the 2009 final 24, and Natarajan made the team and earned a gold medal in Mexico at the 2009 IPhO in July, 2009. The five-person U.S. team earned four golds and a silver, tying for second with India and Korea, and coming in behind the Chinese team, which earned five gold medals.
The U.S. Physics Olympiad program is a joint initiative of the American Association of Physics Teachers in partnership with the American Institute for Physics and several other scientific associations.