Kevin Choi ’17 and Daran Zhao ’17 qualified as semifinalists for the United States National Physics Olympiad (USAPhO). The two reached this phase of the competition by scoring extremely well in the F=ma exam, which is named for Isaac Newton’s famous law of motion and consists of 25 noncalculus mechanics problems. Fewer than 400 high school students nationwide qualify as semifinalists.
“It feels really satisfying to know that my additional hard work this year has offered tangible results,” said Daran. “I am also proud to continue the trend of St. Mark's students before me like Victor Zhou ’14 and Raymond Guo ’15 who qualified for the semifinalist exam.”
Later this month, Kevin and Daran will take the semifinal exam, which features more difficult questions from a wide range of physics topics, including thermodynamics, relativity, and atomic physics. From there, the top 20 finalists will move on to a rigorous national training camp at the University of Maryland, from which the top five students will be selected to represent the United States at the International Physics Olympiad in Switzerland.
St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.