A pair of Indian Americans were named among 20 high school students to the U.S. Physics Team, the American Association of Physics Teachers announced in a May 15 news release.

The AAPT decided on the team after two exams that left them with the top 20 high school students who hail from California, Florida, Indiana, Illinois Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas and attend public, charter, online and home schools.

Among the students include Swapnil Garg, a senior at the Harker School in San Jose, Calif., and Gopal K. Goel, a freshman at Krishna Homeschool in Portland, Ore.

Noted Garg in his bio, “I got especially interested in science in 11th grade, because I had taken physics and chemistry already and I was learning biology. The catalyst for my interest was our school’s science bowl team. I studied hard in order to make the team, and continued studying afterward, and our team made the national competition. While our science bowl team gave me a reason to study science, it also made me realize how much there was to learn.”

Goel, in receiving the honor, said, “I am humbled by this wonderful opportunity to be part of USA physics team. I am very much looking forward to being a part of this camp and meeting all of the amazing people.”

Later this month these bright emerging physicists will participate in Physics Boot Camp at the University of Maryland in College Park, the AAPT said.

The training camp is a crash course in the first two years of university physics. Students learn at a very fast pace. They have an opportunity to hear about cutting edge research from some of the community's leading physicists, the news release said.

The 20 members of the 2018 U.S. Physics Team will prepare for the mentally grueling exams and lab tests they'll face at the 49th International Physics Olympiad to be held July 21–29 in Lisbon, Portugal, where student scholars from 133 nations will test their knowledge in physics, competing with the world's best, it said.

At the end of camp, the coaches will identify the five students who will travel to the 49th International Physics Olympiad and represent the United States. Over the past 10 years, every U.S. Physics Team member traveling to the international competition has returned with a medal, the AAPT noted.

"The competition for a position on the U.S. Physics Team is intense and each student who participated in the 2018 selection process is deserving of recognition,” Dr. Beth A. Cunningham, executive officer of the AAPT, said in a statement. 

“They are the future of America's success in physics related fields. AAPT is honored to recognize the exceptional scholars who qualified for the team and to support their further participation in the International Physics Olympiad," Cunningham added.

The coaches for the 2018 U.S. Physics team are academic director Paul Stanley; co-academic director Jia Jia Dong; senior coach Mark Eichenlaub; junior coaches Michael Winer and Abijith Krishnan; and coach Nicholas D. Sparks. 

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