Mechanic scholars in 2019

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Spring 2019 Mechanics Scholars

2 years ago /

Fifteen Texas A&M University students enrolled in Physics 206 (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 206 students and covering material from all related sections taught during the spring 2019 semester, were honored Wednesday (May 1) during an awards luncheon in the George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy.

The top spring 2019 Mechanics Scholars

The top spring 2019 Mechanics Scholars: (front row, from left) Thomas G. Goodwin (first), Cole A. Greene (second) and Zihan Ouyang (third), with their respective professors (back row, from left) Dr. David Toback, Dr. Ricardo Eusebi and Dr. Wayne Saslow.

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 – Thomas G. Goodwin (first), Cole A. Greene (second) and Zihan Ouyang (third) – also received gift cards ($300 for first place, $300 for second and $100 for 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 event or find more information on the program, including requirements and lists of past winners.


Contact: Dr. David Toback, (979) 845-7717 or

Jarvis Chris

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