4 seniors advance to semifinal round to compete on national team

By Daniel Kim

Four seniors, Alex Scharch ’11, Jack Petok ’11, Jeffrey Sperling ’11, and Jeremy Work ’11 have qualified for the semifinal round for a chance to compete on the 2011 U.S. Physics Team in Bangkok this summer.

“We have been involved [with the competition] going back as early as Harvard School in the 1980s,” AP Physics C teacher John Feulner said. “They are highly intelligent, extremely motivated, creative thinkers. I am very proud of their accomplishment.”

The list of the semifinalists was released on Feb. 24. 

Approximately 400 top scoring students on a “F=ma exam” advanced to the semifinal round, according to the US Physics Team site. 

From those 400, 20 will be selected to attend a training camp at the University of Maryland-College Park in May where they will be involved in rigorous academic studies.

“I don’t look at this as a competitive test, but rather as a chance to solve some super challenging problems,” Petok  said. “Half the fun is learning about all of these topics in studying for this exam.”

Five students will be chosen to represent the United States at the 42nd International Physics Olympiad Competition held in Bangkok during July 10-18.