On Feb. 1-2, Harker’s upper school hosted the U.S. Association of Young Physicists Tournament’s (USAYPT) U.S. invitational. The tournament featured students from schools from across the country as well as from China and Tunisia.
In preparation for the tournament, the USAYPT gives students at participating schools four physics problems in February of each year. The teams spend the next year researching and coming up with solutions for the problems, and each team presents its findings at the tournament. A team from another school then attempts to find flaws in the solution.
Judges from universities such as Santa Clara University, San Jose State University and University of California, Santa Cruz, as well as companies such as Apple and Google, compare the students’ methods against a rubric and assign scores accordingly.
Chaima Essid, a student from Pioneer Prep School in Tunisia, entered the tournament thanks to a friend who competed while attending school in the U.S. as an exchange student. “I thought, why not? It would be a great experience,” Essid said. Although she admitted to making some mistakes during her presentation, she nonetheless said she had a great experience and that she was “satisfied” with her performance.