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The Olympiad is a nine-day international competition among pre-university students from more than 60 nations. — AAPT.ORG

Meet the Team

Photo of Sean Chen

Sean Chen

Traveling Team

San Diego, CA

Canyon Crest Academy

Grade: Junior


Card games, “magic” tricks, table tennis, badminton, frisbee, reading, detective conan


Physics, math, computer science, table tennis, badminton, magic club, competitive cards club


2018 US Physics team, 2018 USAPhO Gold, 2019 US Guest team for IOAA, USABO Semifinalist, AIME qualifier, NAO qualifier, 2018 PUEC Gold and Silver, NSB and NOSB nationals, ACSL All Stars qualifier


Sometimes when I go to bed, I can’t stop thinking about you until sleep shadows my mind. Sometimes when I have spare time at home you find your way into my thoughts and lead me into a different world. Sometimes you make me frustrated, and sometimes you bring me joy. Even throughout most of my days when you’re absent from my mind, you still exist in my heart, but also everywhere else. Physics has been a big part of my life, both as a subject of study and as the fundamental principles that makes life even possible.

My interest in physics was built up around the end of middle school and the beginning of high school from exposure to science competitions like Science Olympiad and Science Bowl. I started learning more physics with whatever resources I managed to find; I often clicked through chains of Wikipedia pages, and would go to the library and pick out physics books that seemed intriguing. Usually, I would spend a bit of time pretending to understand the foreign math symbols until I gave up and looked somewhere else. Soon enough, I heard about the physics olympiad and I tried out a few F=ma problems. I managed to solve a few with knowledge from maybe Khan Academy or something, and I thought it seemed cool, but I was wondering where the crazy superconductors and black hole problems were. After looking at the Semi-final questions (and solutions), I encountered completely new concepts, many mysteries, and the dreaded sight of the elongated S that chased me out of countless Wikipedia pages and books. It became clear that I had a lot of math and physics to learn!

My interests also seeped into other science subjects, and it was fostered by the great, diverse community at my school. Having peers with all kinds of interests and strengths showed me perspectives from various angles and offered plenty of fun, insightful, or strange conversations and activities. I’m very grateful for this community.

I also wish to thank my family for their love and support, and to AAPT for providing this great opportunity. I’m thrilled to be invited to camp again and I can’t wait to meet everyone there!

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Contact Information

For more details and information about the U.S. Physics Team, please contact AAPT's Programs department at 301-209-3340 or programs@aapt.org