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Fall 2019 Mechanics Scholars

2 years ago /

Fifteen Texas A&M University students enrolled in Physics 206 (Classical Mechanics) this past fall have been honored by the Department of Physics and Astronomy as its latest Pearson Mechanics Scholars.

The students, selected for their top-scoring marks on a special end-of-semester “Challenge Exam” open to all Physics 206 students and covering material from all related sections taught during the fall 2019 semester, were honored Friday (Nov 22).

(from left) Dr. Alexey Akimov, Hao Zhu (third), Rishi M. Phatak (first), John McKelvey (second) and Dr. Vitaly Kocharovsky.

(from left) Dr. Alexey Akimov, Hao Zhu (third), Rishi M. Phatak (first), John McKelvey (second) and Dr. Vitaly Kocharovsky.

Each student was presented with a certificate commemorating their accomplishments. This semester’s top three performers – Rishi Phatak (first), John McKelvey (second) and Hao Zhu (third).

The event is part of the Mechanics Scholar Program, founded by the department in 2002 to celebrate the best students in Physics 206 and encourage career exploration in physics. As a large introductory course with challenging subject matter, it is open to all majors, but the majority of the enrollment consists of first-year engineering students, along with physics and other science-related majors.

At the end of both the fall and spring semesters, any student enrolled in Physics 206 is eligible to take the Pearson Mechanics Challenge Exam. The exam covers the same material as the semester-long course — Newton’s Laws of motion, gravity and the concepts of energy, work and momentum. The difficulty level is higher than the course by design in order to identify the top performers out of the roughly 2,300 students enrolled this past year.

See additional photographs from this year’s spring event or find more information on the program, including requirements and lists of past winners.


Contact: Dr. David Toback, (979) 845-7717 or toback@tamu.edu