Nearly two dozen Texas A&M University students enrolled in Physics 218 (Classical Mechanics) this past spring 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 218 students and covering material from all related sections taught during the spring 2018 semester, were honored Wednesday (May 3) during an awards luncheon in the George P. Mitchell ’40 Physics Building.
The event featured a presentation by Dr. David Toback, professor of physics and astronomy and Thaman Professor for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence, on career possibilities in physics and related fields. Each student was presented with a certificate commemorating their accomplishments.
This semester’s top three performers — Faith A. Leskowitz (first), John D. Killough (second) and Jinwoo Jeong (third) — also received copies of the Physics 208 textbook and Toback’s “Big Bang, Black Holes, No Math” book, as well as monetary awards ($200 for first place, $100 for second and third) to be used toward academics.
The event is part of the Mechanics Scholar Program, founded by the department in 2002 to celebrate the best students in Physics 218 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 218 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 1,500 students enrolled this past spring.
Contact: Dr. David Toback, (979) 845-7717 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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