Editor's Note: The following news brief was contributed by Lawrence Township Public Schools.
For the first time, Lawrence High School students have the opportunity to participate in the International Physics Olympiad Competition sponsored by the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) by taking the preliminary F=ma exam.
AAPT is responsible for recruiting, selecting and training teams each year to compete. The selection process begins in early January when high schools register their students to participate in the F=ma exam.
Approximately 400 top scorers on this first test advance to the semi-final round of competition. The semi-final exam is used as the basis for selection of the 20 members of the U.S. Physics Team.
These students, from schools all over the United States, travel to the University of Maryland-College Park at the end of May for the annual U.S. Physics Team Training Camp.
There they engage in ten days of intense studying, testing and problem solving. At the end of that training camp, five students will be selected for the Traveling Team. These students will return for three additional days of intense laboratory work before they are ready for the International Event.
Fifteen LHS students were slated to take the preliminary F=ma exam this month. Yvette Panasowich, S.T.E.M. Supervisor, is the event coordinator.
LHS students also have an opportunity to participate in the American Math Competition (AMC) sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America.
The goal of the competition is to strengthen the mathematical capabilities of the nations' youth by identifying and rewarding excellence through a series of national contests leading to the International Mathematical Olympiad.
Approximately 80-90 LHS students have expressed an interest to compete by taking the preliminary qualifying test on Feb. 5 during the school day. Math teacher Bob Lineman is leading and coordinating LHS' participation with guidance from Ms. Panasowich.