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August/September 2006 (Volume 15, Number 8)
The United States Physics Team brought home four gold medals and one silver medal from the 37th International Physics Olympiad, held in Singapore July 8-17. This year’s event was the largest Olympiad ever, with 383 competitors from 86 nations participating.
Winning gold medals were: Menyoung Lee, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, VA. Lee won a gold medal for the second year in a row; William Throwe, a senior at Shoreham-Wading River High School, Shoreham, NY. Last year Throwe, the son of PRL Assistant Editor Jane Throwe, served as an alternate to the team; Henry Tung , a junior at Torrey Pines High School in San Diego; and Otis Chodosh, a senior at the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics in Oklahoma City. Taking home a silver medal was Sherry Gong, a junior at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH.
In an unofficial ranking of countries based on total team score, the US team placed second, outscored only by the Chinese team.
From 1986 to 2006 the United States teams have brought home 30 gold medals, 21 silver medals, 26 bronze medals, and 11 honorable mentions.
The Olympiad is an international competition among pre-university students from more than 80 nations. The goals of the Olympiad are to encourage excellence in physics education and to reward outstanding physics students. Competitors solve challenging theoretical and experimental physics problems.
The 24 members of the US Physics Team are selected through two competitive examinations. As reported in the July APS News, these students attended an intensive week-long training camp held at the University of Maryland in May, after which the five traveling team members were selected. The US Physics Team is co-organized by the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Institute of Physics. APS is one of the sponsors.
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