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The University of Alabama

High School Student Winners Announced in UA Physics Contest

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Nearly 300 students representing 21 schools recently competed in the 37th annual University of Alabama High School Physics Contest.

Students competed for top honors through a series of tests and competitions during the event, sponsored by UA’s department of physics and astronomy.

The top two finishers in the written exam who choose to attend UA will receive four-year, in-state tuition scholarships. Students who do well in the competition are invited to apply to the E. Scott Barr Scholarship program that awards generous scholarships to students majoring in physics.

In addition to the student competition, the event includes programs for teachers, an open house on research in physics, a physics show and informal opportunities to experience campus life at UA. Students competed in both individual and team events.

The following are the top individual winners:

Kevin Kusch, McGill-Toolen Catholic High School (Mobile), 1st Place

Hema Pingali, Randolph School (Huntsville), 2nd Place

Huiying Zhang, Mississippi School for Math and Science (Columbus), 3rd Place

Grant Smith, Homewood High School, 4th Place

Xianming Li, Hoover High School, 5th Place

Rebecca Riley, Homewood High School, 6th Place

Jonathan Hurowit, Altamont School (Birmingham), 7th Place

Drew Shroyer, Homewood High School, 8th Place

Hemin Noorani, Hoover High School, 9th Place

Allen Davis, McGill-Toolen Catholic High School (Mobile), 10th Place

The following are team awards:

Cipher Competition (Overall)

1st Place – McGill-Toolen Catholic  High School (Mobile)

Chris McDonald, Janzen Lee, Allen Davis, Kevin Kusch, Conor Kusch, Silvio Piccini, Logan Robinson, Collin Phillips, Allen Davis, Jacob Jagiello

2nd Place – Hoover High School

Xianming Li, Hemin Noorani, Shep Lotz, Madhukar Mayokonda, Sasha Hedges,  Archit Thopay, Kris Short, Luke Johnson, David Hall, Andrew Chun, Bhargav Earla, Hollie Barron, Ben McLemore, Ian Carothers, Christian Free, Trevor Davis, Saad Raja, Jessica Prestel, Trey Chaffin, Khalil Saadig, Greg Rogers, Lauren Wiggins, Morgan Rogers, Hamza Gujar, Jessica Prestel, Khalil Saadiq, Hamza Gujar, Ashley Wylie, Lauren Wiggins, Morgan Rogers, Josh Vines

3rd Place – Ranburne High School

Zach Jamison, Sadie Smith, Spence Florzak, Aaron Dodson, Stephanie Benefield, Michelle Baughn, Daniel Evans, Rebecca Anglin, Cole Yearta, Blake Grizzard, Clayton Young, Joe Wierzbicki, Spencer Gibbs, Bradley Gibbs, Jared Edwards,Corey Smith

Large Public Division

1st Place – Hoover High School, Team 1

Xianming Li
Hemin Noorani
Shep Lotz
Madhukar Mayokonda

2nd Place – Homewood High School, Team 4

Edward Demetz
Tyler Williams
Rebecca Riley
Grant  Smith

3rd Place – Hoover High School, Team 2

Andrew Chun
David Hall
Archit Thopay
Sasha Hedges

Small Public Division

1st Place – Ranburne High School, Team 4

Corey Smith
Spencer Gibbs
Jared Edwards
Bradley Gibbs

2nd Place – Ranburne High School, Team 3

Joe Wierzbicki
Clayton Young
Blake Grizzard
Cole Yearta

3rd Place Ranburne High School, Team 2

Stephanie Benefield
Rebecca Anglin
Michelle Baughn
Daniel Evans

Private School Division 

 1st Place – McGill-Toolen Catholic High School, Team 1

Chris McDonald
Janzen Lee
Allen Davis
Kevin Kusch

2nd Place – McGill-Toolen Catholic High School, Team 2

Silvio Piccini
Collin Phillips
Logan Robinson
Conor Kusch

3rd  Place Randolph School, Team 1    

Ashwin Ramachandran
Carla Becker
Jason Dehorty
Hema Pingali

Math and Science School Division

1st Place – Mississippi School for Math and Science, Team 1

Elaine Burns
Claire Belant
Huiying Zhang
Austin Li

The department of physics and astronomy is part of UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards, including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All-American Team.

(Note: Representatives from Homewood High School and Randolph School are not pictured.)

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.