Students advance in Olympiads

By Allison Hamburger, Nick Pritzker

and Sade Tavangarian


Two AP Chemistry students are semifinalists in the Chemistry Olympiad Competition, seven AP Biology students will advance to the semifinal round of the Biology Olympiad Competition and one student is a semifinalist in the Physics Olympiad Competition.

Jack Petok ’11 and Jeremy Work ’11 will participate in the next round of competition for chemistry April 24 at Occidental College.

Ten AP Chemistry students participated in the first round of the Chemistry Olympiad Competition after school on March 17-18.

Seven AP Biology students qualified for the semifinal round of the biology competition, meaning they scored in the top 10 percent of students nationwide in the preliminary exam.

“We’ve done Chem Honors and AP Chem, so we’ve had two years of chemistry. I felt well prepared,” Petok said.

The national semifinal competitions for chemistry and biology are taken by approximately 1,000 students.

However, only the top 20 scorers in the nation are invited to attend a study camp, with the possibility of being chosen to compete at the International Olympiad Competition.

Jeffrey Sperling ’11 is one of 312 students nationwide who will take the next round of testing for the US Physics Olympiad.

His first exam was the “F=ma” exam, Newton’s second law.

The two rounds took place in March. Sperling’s first round was solely mechanics and working with f=ma.

He qualified for the second round which took place on March 15. Only 312 of the 1000 high school students entered in the competition qualified for this round.

The second round includes all subjects in taught introductory college physics, including mechanics, electricity and magnetism, waves, atomic physics, thermal physics and fluid mechanics.

Sperling, has always had an interest in science, is a team member of the Science Bowl A team.

He is currently taking two physics courses, AP Physics C: Mechanics and AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism.

Sperling’s mechanics teacher, John Feulner, mentored him as he is a member of the AAPT (American Association of Physics Teachers).

“I owe my success to him,” he said.