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Physics Team Camp Preps U.S. Students for 2019 International Physics Olympiad

For Immediate Release

College Park, MD—May 22, 2019.  This week twenty of the country’s best and brightest high school physics students will sit in a University of Maryland classroom, learning the theories that might land them the opportunity to travel to the 50th International Physics Olympiad .

These high school students are the U.S. Physics Team and have gathered from across the country to train for the 2019 Annual International Physics Olympiad. From May 28 to June 8, they are spending thirteen hours a day at the University of Maryland in fast-paced lecture classes and hands-on labs that challenge the depth and breadth of their knowledge of physics.

To make it this far the team members scored better than 4,000 other students on two exams that tested their knowledge of theoretical physics. The members of the 2019 U.S. Physics Team are:

The coaches for the 2019 U.S. Physics team are: JiaJia Dong, Academic Director; Mark Eichenlaub, Senior Coach; Abijith Krishnan and Kye Shi, Junior Coaches; Brian, Skinner and Kevin Zhou, Coaches.

Five  students will be chosen to represent the U.S. in the international competition, in Tel Aviv, Israel from July 7th through 15th. The U.S. team will compete against teams from around the world to solve individual theoretical and experimental contests in Physics.

They will have the opportunity to interact with students from around the world, planting the seeds of friendship and cooperation that may support a lifetime of scientific discovery.  Last year, the U.S. team won two silver medals and three gold medals.

Their camp training for the event includes time in a laboratory. The experimental side is similar to what they do in their high schools, but their coaches push them a little further.  During the camp they will be exposed to all of the concepts presented in a first year college physics course. The week isn't all work. Whether debating if alternative energy schemes inspired by science fiction novels would actually work or wiggling their arms in the "vector dance," the gathering is an opportunity for the students to get to know each other.  For many of the team members it is the first time they have had the opportunity to interact with peers who share their love of physics. The camp schedule includes a visit with their congressional representatives on Capitol Hill.

The U.S. Physics Olympiad Program was started in 1986 by AAPT to promote and demonstrate academic excellence. It continues to be supported as a joint initiative between AAPT and AIP. The nine-day International Physics Olympiad brings together pre-university students from more than 70 nations.

The U.S. Physics Team is sponsored by the generous support of private donors, the American Institute for Physics and the member societies of the American Institute of Physics:

Acoustical Society of America
American Association of Physicists in Medicine
American Association of Physics Teachers
American Astronomical Society
American Crystallographic Association
American Meteorological Society
American Institute for Physics
American Physical Society
AVS: Science &Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing
Optical Society of America
The Society of Rheology

Hosting University:

University of Maryland

Corporate Sponsors:

Art of Problem Solving
Cambridge University Press
D.E.Shaw Group & Company
Ellington Management Group
Geppetto Catering
J Burke Catering
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Pearson Education
Princeton University Press


  • May 28 – June 8 —  Physics Team students visit University of Maryland for their intensive training camp.
  • May 29 —Welcome Reception at the University of Maryland
  • June 7 —Camp Closing Ceremony: Five students will be chosen to represent the U.S. Physics Team at the International Physics Olympiad
  • July 7-15 —International Physics Olympiad (IPHO) in Tel Aviv, Israel


About AAPT
AAPT is an international organization for physics educators, physicists, and industrial scientists—with members worldwide. Dedicated to enhancing the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching, AAPT provides awards, publications, and programs that encourage teaching practical application of physics principles, support continuing professional development, and reward excellence in physics education. Founded in 1930, the Association is headquartered in the American Center for Physics at College Park, Maryland. 

CONTACT: Dave Wolfe, American Association of Physics Teachers,dwolfe@aapt.org, Phone: (301) 209-3327