Senior achieves honor of being a top scorer on national physics exam


Midway staff

Senior Fiona Abney-McPeek spent 15 hours per week last spring and summer studying physics for the United States of America Physics Olympiad exam.

Ryan Clark, Opinion Editor

Senior Fiona Abney-McPeek recently earned the distinction of being one of the top scorers on the United States of America Physics Olympiad exam, the premier assessment for competitive physics problem-solving.

After being in the top 50 scorers on the USAPhO, Fiona was one of 30 testers invited to a higher-level exam that also qualifies a smaller number of top scorers for the International Physics Olympiad

To prepare for the exam, Fiona spent 15 hours per week last spring and summer studying physics, an occupation she said was fueled by her passion for physics and its real-world applications.

“I like both the way it connects to these phenomena in the universe that seem really chaotic and hard to make sense of, but then it’s able to describe them with these beautiful mathematical equations and find logic in it,” Fiona said.

In addition to her work preparing for USAPhO, Fiona created the U-High physics club with ninth grader Anvi Padhi and led a virtual summer camp on mechanics. 

Of special interest to Fiona is the field of quantum mechanics.

“I think quantum mechanics, for example, it seems very illogical and hard to wrap your mind around it, but once you study physics, it starts to make sense,” Fiona said.

Fiona also said she is considering being a math-physics double major when she begins college at Harvard University in the fall.