[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Attention: EDUCATION/CONGRESSIONAL/SCIENCE POLICY WRITERS
Information about the 1999 US Physics Team can be found at the following website: http://www.aapt.org/programs/physteam/team99/team99.html.
Or contact Dr. Bernard Khoury, Director of the American Association of Physics Teachers at 301-209-3311.
For all other inquiries and general physics questions, contact Ben Stein, American Institute of Physics at 301-209-3091 or Phillip Schewe at 301-209-3092.
Congressional Representatives Joined by Scientific Community in Urging Congress to Preserve K-12 Science and Math Education Professional Development Programs
June 7, 1999----On Wednesday, June 9th at 8 AM, Representative Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) and Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) will co-host a breakfast to honor the 24 high-school students who have been named to the US Physics Team. At an 8:45 AM news conference, the representatives, who are both physicists by training, will address the students and say a few words about Federal support of science education. In addition, 8 leading scientific organizations will issue a statement regarding the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which will be reauthorized by Congress later this year. These events will take place in Room 2325 of the Rayburn Building, and reporters are welcome to attend (RSVP Ben Stein, 301-209-3091, firstname.lastname@example.org).
The students, coming from all over the US, are competing to be one of the five who will represent the US at the International Physics OLYMPiad competition, which this year will be held in Padua, Italy, July 18-27. There, they will compete for bronze, silver, and gold medals, in an intellectual equivalent of the athletic OLYMPic Games.
“These students embody the high standards and desire for achievement that we strive for in forging education policy,” explains Representative Holt, a member of the House Education Committee.
"I salute these students! We look forward to the contribution they will make to our nation's science and engineering future," says Representative Ehlers, a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and the House Science Committee.
During the week of June 6-12, the students are attending a grueling training camp at the University of Maryland in College Park. "Throughout this week, they will try to answer physics exam problems so tough that many of their high school teachers--and perhaps many college professors, too--would find them very challenging," explains Bernard Khoury, Executive Director of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). At the training camp, teachers will give these students guidance on how to solve problems that ultimately enable physicists to help society--from predicting the size of dangerous, lava-filled areas after a volcanic eruption to designing solar-powered aircraft similar to those built by NASA to monitor the environment and climate.
“These efforts come precisely at a time when Congress is debating the future of important science and math education policy ” states James Stith, former President of the AAPT and Director of Physics Programs of the American Institute of Physics. “We are proud of our U.S. Team! As a nation, to achieve the standards set by them, we must maintain strong professional development programs for teachers,” adds Stith.
Representative Ehlers explained that the House will be working later this year to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the main law that governs Federal support of school programs from kindergarten through 12th grade. "We will be working with my colleagues on the Education and the Workforce Committee to ensure that the federal government continues to play a strong role in the support of professional development for mathematics and science teachers," explains Ehlers.
"It is important that our teachers continue to keep up with new and engaging approaches to K-12 education," adds Representative Holt, who has stated that improving the nation’s schools is one of his top priorities in his first term.
“On the eve of the new millennium, 8 of our nation’s leading scientific organizations representing over half a million people have joined with Members of Congress in congratulating these outstanding students and to wish them good luck. As part of this celebration, we would like to take an opportunity to urge Congress to continue to support K-12 science and math education programs, in particular programs which provide our teachers with the professional development they need,” states Gerry Wheeler, Executive Director of National Science Teachers Association and past president of AAPT.
“The percentage of US high school students who take physics is now the highest it has ever been in the post-WWII era," says Marc Brodsky, Executive Director of the American Institute of Physics. "Yet only a third of their high school physics teachers have earned a degree in physics. For our children to achieve, we must ensure our nations’s teachers can pursue quality professional development opportunities,” Brodsky states.
Headquartered in College Park, Maryland, the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Institute of Physics sponsor the recruitment and training of the Physics OLYMPiad Team.
# # #
STATEMENT TO CONGRESS FROM THE UNDERSIGNED SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES
Scientific Societies congratulating the physics students and endorsing the above statement:
AMERICAN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PHYSICS TEACHERS
AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY
AMERICAN GEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE
AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GEOSCIENCE TEACHERS
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF TEACHERS OF MATHEMATICS
NATIONAL SCIENCE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION
The participating students are as follows: Owen Baker of Maplewood, NJ; Raymond Cassella of Baldwin, NY; Nicholas Guise, Dayton, OH; Devon Haskell, Painesville, OH; Steven Hassani, Springfield VA; Charvak Karpe, Stillwater, OK; Abraham Kunin, Huntsville, AL; Andrew Lin, Cheshire, CT; Benjamin Mathews, Dallas, TX; Nilah Monnier, Brookline, MA; Jason Oh, Cockeysville, MD; Peter Onyisi, Exeter, NH; Paul Oreto, Brookline, MA; Marc Popkin-Paine, Houston, TX; Tomokazu Sato, Closter, NJ; Alexander Schwartz, Bryn Mawr, PA; Katherine Scott, Belle Mead, NJ; Dmytro Taranovsky, Columbia, MD; Ryan Timmons, Beverly Hills, MI; Natalia Toro, Boulder, CO; Kevin Wang, Highland Heights, OH; Joseph Yu, Irvine, CA; Tanner Fahl, Honolulu, HI; Anthony Nannini, Bolingbrook, IL.
Further information and contacts:
--Photographs of students with their Congressional representatives at the breakfast are available at this website: www.aip.org/physnews/graphics/html/usteam99.html
--Photographs of students at the training camp are available at the above website.
–The physics OLYMPiad training camp director is Mary Mogge, Cal Poly Pomona, 909-869-4023
–For statistical information about high school physics, contact Michael Neuschatz, AIP, 301-209-3077, and see the following website: http://www.aip.org/statistics/trends/highlite/hs2/high2.htm
–For video footage at the physics camp and at the breakfast, contact Steve Tansey, AIP, 301-209-3096. ####
Back to Physics News Graphics Main Page [an error occurred while processing this directive]