Two ETHS seniors were named national semifinalists in the 2012 International Physics Olympiad Competition on Feb. 23. The preliminary exam scores of Fiona West and James Hanford qualified them to compete for spots as national finalists.

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and the American Institute of Physics (AIP) sponsor an annual competition for high school students to represent the United States at the International Physics Olympiad. Several thousand of the top physics students in the country take the preliminary F=ma exam in hopes of competing on the national team.

Semifinalists will prepare for and take a very difficult test on all physics topics. Results will determine the 24 finalists who will make up the national team. Finally, from the top 24, five will be selected for a traveling team that competes against dozens of other countries. This year’s international contest will be in Estonia.

Fiona West and James Hanford will take the semifinal exam in March. ETHS has had 26 semifinalists in the past decade and one student who made the national team in 2005.