July 23, 2014
UPDATE 2: Congratulations to Vikram Sundar ’14, who earned a gold medal at this year’s International Physics Olympiad in Astana, Kazakhstan! As one of three gold medalists (alongside two silver medalists) on the U.S. team, Sundar was instrumental in helping the U.S. tie for third place overall in the event, in which 86 countries participated.
June 9, 2014
UPDATE: Vikram Sundar ’14, will be one of only five U.S. International Physics Olympiad team members heading to the International Physics Olympiad to be held from July 13 to 21, 2014 in Astana, Kazakhstan! Go Vikram-best of luck in this prestigious event!
May 22, 2014
Four Harker students are among America’s brightest emerging physicists, who will gather at Physics Boot Camp in College Park, Md., later this month, to train and hopefully qualify for the final U.S. Physics Olympiad Team.
Harker students who qualified are Rahul Sridhar, grade 12; Vikram Sundar, grade 12; Andrew Zhang, grade 11; and Kevin Zhu, grade 12. They will be vying for one of the five spots on the team (plus an alternate), who will travel to Astana, Kazakhstan, from July 13-21. There, more than 400 student scholars from 92 nations will test their physics knowledge, competing with the best in the world.
“This must be some kind of record!” said Jason Bardi, director of media services at the American Institute of Physics, which administers the test, runs the boot camp and sponsors the team’s trip to the Olympiad. “It’s tremendous because [Harker] kids are competing with all the huge, powerhouse science magnet public schools on the East Coast, like Stuyvesant and Montgomery Blair, which together have only three members on the team — as well as all the other high schools in the country,” he said.
Over the past 10 years, every U.S. Physics Team member traveling to the international competition has returned with a medal. In 2009, Anand Natarajan ’09 earned a gold medal at the International Physics Olympiad in Mexico. Harker sends a student to the boot camp most years, but has not had four members in recent memory.
The U.S. team is selected from 19 students who have emerged through a rigorous exam taken by 4,277 students. Eleven of the 19 finalists are students are from California; nine of them are from the Bay Area, including Gunn High School, Mission High School, Monta Vista High School, Palo Alto High School and Saratoga High School. The full list is here: http://www.aapt.org/aboutaapt/2014-United-States-Physics-Team-Announced.cfm.
“The competition for a position on the U.S. Physics Team is intense and each student who participated in the 2014 selection process is deserving of recognition,” said Beth Cunningham, executive officer of the American Association of Physics Teachers. “They are the future of America’s success in physics-related fields. AAPT is honored to recognize the exceptional scholars who qualified for the team and to support their further participation in the International Physics Olympiad.”
An integral part of the team experience is the training camp. Most of the students invited to the camp are the top science student in their high school. For many, it is their first chance to meet other students who are truly their peers. The training camp is a crash course in the first two years of university physics. Students learn at a very fast pace. They have an opportunity to hear about cutting edge research from some of the community’s leading physicists. At the end of the training camp, five students will be selected to travel to Kazakhstan for the international competition.
The coaches for the 2014 U.S. Physics Team are Paul Stanley, academic director; Andrew Lin, senior coach; JiaJia Dong and David Fallest, coaches; and Lucy Chen, assistant coach.
The U.S. Physics Team is sponsored by the generous support of private donors and the member societies of the American Institute for Physics.
MORE ON THE WEB
Main website of the U.S. Physics Team: http://www.aapt.org/physicsteam/2014/
History of the U.S. Physics Team, including past winners: http://www.aapt.org/physicsteam/2014/program.cfm
45th International Physics Olympiad: http://ipho2014.kz/
AAPT is an international organization for physics educators, physicists and industrial scientists, with members worldwide. Dedicated to enhancing the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching, AAPT provides awards, publications, and programs that encourage teaching practical application of physics principles, support continuing professional development, and reward excellence in physics education. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.