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The University of Alabama

Physics Teams from High Schools Take Prizes at UA Contest

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — More than 280 students representing 14 schools recently competed in The University of Alabama’s annual high school physics contest.

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

The McGill-Toolen Catholic High School Team A took first place in the overall team winner category. The students are: Connor Kusch, Peter McDonald, Chris McDonald and PatrickS pafford.

The McGill-Toolen Catholic High School Team A took first place in the overall team winner category. The students are: Connor Kusch, Peter McDonald, Chris McDonald and Patrick Spafford.

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 scholarships to students majoring in physics.

In addition to the student competition, the event includes programs for teachers, an open panel discussion on research in physics, a physics show and informal opportunities to experience life at UA. The contest was Jan. 29.

Students compete in both individual and team events.

The following are the top individual winners:
1. Jason Necaise (Mississippi School for Math and Science, Columbus)
2. Byron Williams (MSMS)
3. Yunzhe Shao (Indian Springs School, Pelham)
4. Nathan Barlow (MSMS)
5. Luke Anderson (Florence High School)
6. Alessandra Otondo (MSMS)
7. Yifan Wang (Indian Springs School)
8. Ziyue Xu (Indian Springs School)
9. Sihan Song (Auburn High School)
10. (tie) Daniel Stanton (Oak Mountain High School) and Daniel Lee (Auburn High School)

The team awards are:

Magnet schools
1. Mississippi School for Math and Science team A
2. MSMS team E
3. MSMS team C

Small public schools:
1. Ranburne High School A
2. Ranburne B
3. Ranburne C

Private schools:
1. McGill-Toolen Catholic High School (Mobile) A
2. McGill-Toolen C
3. Indian Springs School A

Large public:
1. Straughn High School A
2. Straughn C
3. Oak Mountain High School A

Team overall:
1. McGill-Toolen A
2. Straughn A
3. McGill-Toolen C

School Overall:
1. McGill-Toolen
2. Straughn
3. Mississippi School for Math and Science

UA’s physics and astronomy department is part of the 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 and Goldwater Scholarships.


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.