SciOly to host Physics Olympiad contest

Liana Pickrell, Author

The Palo Alto High School SciOly club will host the annual individual Physics Olympiad contest in late January.

The preliminary round is open to anyone, although the only spots still available are on the waiting list, according to SciOly member Grace Lin. The first test, “F=ma,” is 75 minutes long, consists of 25 multiple-choice questions, and is about mechanics, Lin said.

All participants will have the opportunity to advance in the contest based on their first score. Approximately the top 400 students in the nation will qualify for the semi-final round and will take the USA Physics Olympiad Exam.

The group will then be narrowed to 20 students, who will have the opportunity to attend an intensive Physics Camp at the University of Maryland. Finally, five students will be chosen to represent the US in an international physics competition next year, according to the U.S. Physics Team website.

Over the past year, Paly had 10 semi-finalists, two Physics Camp participants and one representative on the international team. Paly grad Jeffrey Yan won a gold medal at the international tournament.

“I’m really looking forward to taking the F=ma because I think it will be really fun,” said SciOly member junior Alex Lu. “I think a lot of people will make the next round this year because all the freshmen and sophomores who took it last year are probably going to work harder and all the juniors who took it last year and made it [the second round] are going to continue studying… I think it’s going to be a good year for Paly science.”

Email [email protected] if you are interested in participating in the competition.