Two students qualify for U.S. Physics Olympiad team

Home S&S News Two students qualify for U.S. Physics Olympiad team
Jonathon Huang and Jason Ye with the UHS Physics Olympiad adviser Mr. Tim Smay (Science Dept.).

By MEGHA TORPUNURI
Staff Writer

Jonathan Huang (Jr.) and Jason Ye (Jr.) have both been chosen for the United States Physics Olympiad Team.

Only 20 students from the U.S. are selected to be members of the team. They were chosen after review of their success in the Physics Olympiad.

In order to advance to the U.S. Physics Olympiad team, high school students participate in the F=ma exam. The top 400 scorers on this exam move onto the USA Physics Olympiad Exam, which is then used to select the 20 members who comprise the United States Physics Team.

This is the first year that UHS has ever had students advance this far.

The two are currently at the University of Maryland-College Park for the annual United States Physics Team Training Camp, taking place from May 26 to June 6. Team members spend ten days at this camp studying, taking exams, and problem solving, all in various fields of physics.  At the end of the camp, five students are selected to be on the U.S. Physics Traveling Team for the International Physics Olympiad in Zurich, Switzerland from July 10 to July 18.

Both Ye and Huang are a part of UHS Physics Olympiad, which prepares for physics oriented competitions. Students try all sorts of methods to prepare for the various levels of examinations.

Huang said, “To prepare I watched online videos from MIT OpenCourseWare, read different textbooks and did all the problems I could find from past exams, books and contests from other countries.”

He said, “I really like physics because it requires a strong conceptual understanding and a certain degree of creativity. You have to be able to pull ideas from different areas and connect them together. “Physics also allows people to understand why and how things work at a fundamental level.”

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