Harker’s Young Physicists team brought home the championship trophy in early February, a school first, and is prominently featured on the tournament’s home page.
The team, seniors Karthik Dhore and Nikhil Parthasarathy, and juniors Vishesh Gupta and Akhil Prakash, accompanied by Drs. Miriam Allersma and Mark Brada, flew to Oak Ridge, Tenn., site of the 2011 U.S. Invitational Young Physicists Tournament sponsored by the United States Association for Young Physicists Tournaments (USAYPT).
At the competition, students from across the country present research on four open-ended physics problems, announced a full year prior, requiring work well above most common high school curricula, said Brada.
“Since the problems are particularly difficult, each student who travelled to the competition worked in a team with one or two other Harker students to complete all of the work that was required,” Brada added.
Dhore worked with Juniors Shival Dasu and Sankalp Raju on the Salt Water Oscillator problem, Parthasarathy worked with Junior Govinda Dasu on the Magic Motor problem, Gupta worked with freshman Sarika Bajaj and junior Max Isenberg on the Domino Wave problem and Prakash worked with Sophomore Payal Modi on the Boiling Water problem.
“Each member of the team contributed a great deal of work to the solutions that were ultimately presented at the competition,” said Brada.
The competition itself is carried out through a series of “Physics Fights,” which are essentially debate-style presentations in which one team presents research findings while another team looks for flaws in how their research was conducted. The team from Harker ultimately prevailed at the taking home the travelling tournament trophy for the first time in school history.