The American Association of Physics Teachers recently announced that three Loomis Chaffee students have been chosen to advance to the Semi-Final round of U.S. Physics Team selection. The students are senior Chate Khemakongkanonth, and juniors Shuncong (Michael) Gu and Ji Hwan Seung. They are among the top 400 students (out of over 3,000 who took the exam) who earned the distinction of being named Semi-Finalists in 2012.
The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) is responsible for recruiting, selecting and training a team each year to compete in the International Physics Olympiad Competition. This selection process begins in early January when high schools register their students to participate in the Fnet=ma exam.
AP physics teacher Edward Pond said that this is the fifth year that Loomis Chaffee students have advanced to the semifinal level. “This year, I decided to enter ten students because I felt the newly formatted test was suitable to a spectrum of students in my AP class and thought they would enjoy the challenge,” he stated. “I don't do any special preparation since the AP curriculum covers a good majority of the fundamental concepts and we do lots of problem solving in the class. Michael, Chate and JiHwan all have very strong math and science backgrounds and have been working with tremendous enthusiasm.”
The Semi-Final exam is used as the basis for selection of the 24 members of the U.S. Physics Team. These students, from schools all over the United States, travel to the University of Maryland-College Park at the end of May for the annual U.S. Physics Team Training Camp. There they engage in nine days of intense studying, testing and problem solving. At the end of that training camp, five students will be selected for the “Traveling Team,” who will participate in the International Event to be held in Estonia, in July 2012.