Thursday, July 07, 2005
Report from Spain: The students have had both exams and we're coming out of email blackout. We'll see them again tonight. Everyone is fine. I should have more information about how they have done later tonight but I just wanted to contact you before you left for the day to let you know that we all safe. Spanish time seems to run late on both accounts. E.g., dinner at 9 or 10 and deadlines continually pushed back. We are working hard and other than that, and the schedule, thoroughly enjoying the experience.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Traveling Team arrival in Spain: We arrived safely, caught the cabs, checked into our hotel (very nice), walked the travelers about, went to see the Real Palacio de Madrid (also nice), had dinner, had them all email home, and finally said good night to the last one at about 9:30.
Monday, May 23, 2005
Today is the day...the day the students found out which of them would be selected to represent the U.S. at the international Competition in Spain. However, before the big announcement they first had their daily class discussion, then they were given a questionnaire and evaluation sheet to complete. Later that morning the students took a Physics IQ Test, from experiments demonstrated by Dr. Richard Berg, a well renowned international Physics Professor at the University of Maryland. This fun-filled session is always a favorite of the students. Dr. Berg has also been a regular Frontier Speaker and supporter of the Team since ‘86. After lunch the coaches were ready to announce the five Representatives, but they first congratulated the students for being one of the best group of campers they’d had the pleasure of working with. The room was quiet as the names were called Daniel Whalen, Menyoung Lee, Nickolas Fortino, Timothy Credo, and Eric Mecklenburg the alternate, William Throwe. A round of applause went out to the representatives and alternate and each student of the traveling team received a TI83 calculator from Texas Instruments. After the announcement the students went out front of the physics building to take group photos. By 2:00pm the students began to depart for home. By 4:00pm the University of Maryland Physics Department was void of the 2005 U.S. Physics team members, coaches and staff.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
The day began with their 6th exam, then on to class discussion. The student were invited to lunch with the University of Maryland Graduates. After lunch the students had two Mystery Labs. It was a long day, and tomorrow would be their last day of training camp. So after dinner the students signed each other’s book and exchanged email addresses so that they could all stay connected. Each of them were reluctant to end the evening knowing that tomorrow they would be leaving by plane, train, and automobile going their separate ways,
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Today was another big day! It began with class discussion of exam 4 & Mystery Labs Group Problem, they went on to revisit some topic areas. The students relaxed at lunch and then went on for their 5-hour Practice Olympiad Exam.
Friday, May 20, 2005
Today was the first of several big days. It started off with an exam; after lunch the students experienced their first of 2-- three hour Mystery Labs, in preparation for the experimental examination at the 36th Physics Olympiad Competition
Thursday, May 19, 2005
The student’s day began with class on waves & optics. Today's Frontier Speaker was Dr. Ellen Williams, Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland. Over the years, Dr. Williams has been a regular Frontier Speaker for the Team. Consistent with her pioneering and award winning research in the area, this year's topic was Scanning Probe Microscopes: The remainder of their afternoon was filled with an exam and a practice Mystery Lab.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
The day began as usual with class and lab. However, at 1:00pm the students boarded a University of Maryland Coach heading for the Nations Capitol - first stop the National Academy of Science where they took photos at the Einstein Statue. Later they were taken to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum for a Private Tour. At 5:00PM the students arrived on Capitol Hill at the Rayburn Building where a reception was hosted in their honor by Representatives Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) and Rush Holt (D-NJ), the only physicists in congress. The students had the opportunity to meet many of their representatives. Following the reception there was a ceremony with Speaker, Dr. Richard Meserve, President, Carnegie Institution. But the highlight of the evening was when the U.S. Team Members were announced and received their official certificates.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Today the physics team and coaches visited NASA Goddard and they had a good visit. They were taken on a tour of the Engineering Integration and Test Facilities and the Hubble Space Telescope Simulator. Astrophysicist, Dr. Jim Lochner was there and talk to them about a new satellite that is being built here at Goddard. He also provided them with the latest version of the "Imagine the Universe" CD. Dr. James Lochner leads the Education/Public Outreach efforts for the HEASARC. He heads up the continuing development of the Imagine the Universe! Web site, and oversees the production of posters and activity booklets. He also develops and presents workshops about high-energy astronomy and available education resources to educators at local, state, and national education meetings, and at National Teacher Training Institute (NTTI) workshops. He is also active in NASA's Education Ecosystem, serving as a consultant to the Sun-Earth-Connection Education Forum's Resource Catalogue working group, and as an active participant in the Education Forum for the Structure and Evolution of the Universe Theme.
Monday, May 16, 2005
Today was the first day the students were treated to a Frontier Speaker. Dr. Jordan Goodman, Physics Department Chair from the University of Maryland talked to them about his research. Dr. Goodman has spoken to the U.S. Physics Team since the United States organized a team. He has been a staunch supporter and someone who have cared deeply about the young students and their interest in science. A Welcome Reception followed at noon. In attendance were some faculty members from the UM physics department, AIP, AAPT staff and an administrator from the Biology Olympiad Competition.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
The morning was filled with Modern Physics. By the afternoon the student were given their first exam. They went on to lab introduction from Lab Coach Warren Turner, and newly appointed Lab Coach Shaela Jones. Needless to say the day was busy for both team members and coaches; days begin at 7:00am and ends well after 9:00pm in independent study.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
The 2005 Physics Team came to the College Park today with no mishaps nor lost baggage. The weather seem to cooperate until all the students had arrived, then the storms came... but the team was safely tucked away inside the American Center for Physics building having their dinner. After dinner, there was orientation by Dr. Mary Mogge, Team Academic Director, who introduced the other 6 members of the Coaching Staff. She spoke about the rules of the training camp. Each member was given the opportunity to introduce themselves and share what they planned to be doing ten years from now. Most of the students plan to pursue their dreams in the physics area. However, there were a few admitted that it was hard enough to plan day to day events and must to difficult to plan ten years down the road.