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United States Virtual Physics Team Wins Five Gold Medals in 51st IPhO

Contact: Dave Wolfe, Director of Communications
E-mail: dwolfe@aapt.org
Phone: (301) 209-3327


July 26, 2021 College Park, Maryland — The 2021 International Physics Olympiad came to a close on Saturday, July 24, 2021. The virtual event focused on the theme, Share the Light, noted that  "by sharing the light through our actions one human can change the world every day."  The extraordinary effort to participate during a global pandemic and the light shared through kindness, smiles, and working together as a worldwide group has made the earth a better place. Nearly 400 of the world’s brightest high school students from 76 countries participated in the virtual event.

The U.S. Physics team took home five gold medals at the 51st International Physics Olympiad hosted in Vilnius, Lithuania from July 17-24, 2021. The members of the virtual team are:

Eddie Zhe ChenEvan EricksonWilliam Huang

Zhening LiLeo Yao

  • Eddie Chen, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, Plainsboro, New Jersey
  • Evan Erickson, Erickson Homeschool Academy, Lake Elmo, Minnesota
  • William Huang, Lynbrook High School, San Jose, California
  • Zhening Li, Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  • Leo Yao, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North, Plainsboro, New Jersey

We recognize the 2021 U.S. Physics Team coaching staff for their tremendous efforts to select and train a virtual Physics Team this year. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the entire process had to be conducted virtually. The coaches have gone above and beyond expectation to ensure that the United States is represented at the 2021 International Physics Olympiad.  The coaches for the 2021 U.S. Physics team are:

  • JiaJia Dong, U.S. Physics Team Academic Director, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA
  • Mark Eichenlaub, U.S. Physics Team Senior Coach, Art of Problem Solving
  • Abijith Krishnan, U.S. Physics Team Junior Coach, MIT, Cambridge, MA
  • Kye Shi, U.S. Physics Team Junior Coach, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA
  • Brian Skinner, U.S. Physics Team Coach, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • Mike Winer, U.S. Physics Team Coach, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
  • Kevin Zhou, U.S. Physics Team Coach, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

The overall winner was South Korea's Kyungmin Kim, who also had the highest score on the experimental and theoretical exams. The best female participant was from Romania.

"AAPT congratulates these student scholars. Their exceptional achievements in this international competition are a reflection of the work of their coaches, the entire 2021 Physics Team, the support of their families, and the best of physics education," said Dr. Beth A. Cunningham, Executive Officer of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

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:

Corporate Sponsors:

Main website of the U.S. Physics Team: https://www.aapt.org/physicsteam/PT-landing.cfm
History of the physics team, including past winners: https://www.aapt.org/Common/program_history.cfm
The official website of the 2021 International Physics Olympiad:  https://www.ipho2021.lt/en/

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.