After spending a week at physics “boot camp” competing
in the 2002 U.S. Physics Olympiad, the 24 members of the U.S.
Physics Team will be the guests of honor at a tribute in
Washington hosted by NASA. The featured speaker is NASA
Astronaut John Grunsfeld, who recently returned from his
mission upgrading the Hubble Space Telescope.

The U.S. Physics Team is made up of 24 of the best and
brightest physics and mathematics high school students from
around the country. This year’s team includes 18 boys and six
girls from 15 states with a tremendous number of
accomplishments between them; one student has studied with
Russian mathematicians, another was born in Romania and is
doing financial analysis for the Cleveland Clinic Foundation,
yet another has deferred acceptance to Caltech to continue
studying piano. However, on May 31 all their thoughts will be
on physics – and competition.

For a week the students will conduct laboratory experiments
and take exams at the University of Maryland in College Park,
competing for medals and five college scholarships awarded by
the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and the
American Institute of Physics (AIP), which co-sponsor the
Physics Team. Grunsfeld will award the medals and
scholarships during the NASA Tribute to the team at 5 pm,
June 7 at the NASA Headquarters Auditorium, 300 E Street, SW
in Washington DC.

“Dr. Grunsfeld is an excellent example of where physics
training can take you,” said James Stith, Vice President of
Physics Resources at the AIP. Grunsfeld has a doctorate in
Physics and has been an astronaut since 1992. He is a
veteran of four space flights and five space walks, including
two missions to the Hubble Telescope. On his latest flight to
service Hubble in March, he served as mission specialist and
payload commander. Grunsfeld and his colleagues installed the
new Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), which has resulted in
some of the most stunning pictures ever taken from Hubble.

Before the awards ceremony, the Physics Team will also get a
behind-the-scenes tour of the Smithsonian’s National Air and
Space Museum, and following the ceremony students will get a
private viewing of SPACE STATION 3-D at the museum’s IMAX

Biographies and photos of the U.S. Physics Team are available
on the Internet at:

Additional information on AIP AAPT in available on the World
Wide Web at: