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FYI Number 81: May 31, 2005

U.S. Physics Olympiad Team Honored

Twenty-four of the most talented physics students from high schools around the country came to the nation's capitol in May. These students had competed against hundreds of their peers to earn a place on the 2005 U.S. Physics Team. While participating in a week-long training camp at the University of Maryland, the Team members were honored with a "Tribute to the U.S. Physics Team 2005" ceremony on Capitol Hill. The May 18 ceremony was sponsored by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), an AIP Member Society. It was co-hosted by Reps. Vern Ehlers (R-MI) and Rush Holt (D-NJ), the two physicists in Congress. In conjunction with the ceremony, Rep. Ehlers also placed a statement in the Congressional Record, congratulating the Team.

Since 1986, AAPT and AIP, with support from other societies, have recruited, selected, and trained teams to compete in the International Physics Olympiad. The U.S. Team has enjoyed great success over the years, bringing home two gold, two silver, and one bronze medals from the 2004 Olympiad in Pohang, Korea.

This year's international competition will be held in Salamanca, Spain, from July 3 to 12. At the end of the training camp, the top five highest scoring students were chosen to represent the U.S. at the 2005 International Physics Olympiad. The members of the traveling Team are:

Timothy Credo, Illinois Math and Science Academy, Aurora, IL
Nickolas Fortino, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA
Menyoung Lee, Thomas Jefferson HS for Science and Technology, Alexandria, VA
Eric Mecklenburg, Hawken School, Gates Mills, OH
Daniel Whalen, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA
Alternate:
William Throwe, Shoreham-Wading River HS, Shoreham, NY

Below is the text of Rep. Ehlers' May 18 Congressional Record statement:

"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the achievements of the members of the 2005 United States Physics Olympiad Team. These 24 individuals have shown tremendous aptitude in physics and leadership amongst their peers.

"It is very challenging to earn a spot on this prestigious team. After being nominated by their high school teachers and taking a preliminary exam, 200 students qualified to take the second and final screening exam for the U.S. Physics Team. The 24 survivors of that group represent the top physics students in the U.S., and they are now at a nine-day training camp of intense study, examination and problem solving. Five of these students will advance and compete for our country in July at the International Physics Olympiad in Salamanca, Spain.

"Members of the 2005 team include: Thomas D. Belulovich, David Chen, Timothy F. Credo, Nickolas A. Fortino, YingYu Gao, Sherry Gong, Timothy H. Hsieh, Anthony E. Kim, John Y. Kim, Jenny L. Kwan, Chor Hang Lam, Samuel S. Lederer, Menyoung Lee, David Lo, Anton S. Malyshev. Sarah E. Marzen, Eric J. Mecklenburg, Aaron H. Potechin, John D. Schulman, William T. Throwe, Madeleine R. Udell, Ameya A. Velingker, Daniel P. Whalen and Fan Zhang.

"Mr. Speaker, as a nuclear physicist and former physics professor, I have worked to promote math and science education and to recognize the pivotal role these fields play in our nation's economic competitiveness and national security. Educating our K-12 students in math and science is very important. It is encouraging to see so many young, outstanding physics students enthusiastic about science. I hope their enthusiasm will be contagious to other students who will be drawn to challenging and rewarding careers in math and science. I am very thankful for these future leaders and ask that you please join me in congratulating them on their wonderful achievements."

Audrey T. Leath
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
fyi@aip.org
301-209-3094

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