Josh Doman found his flair for physics in a freshman science class.
“Projects in that class used real-world applications,” he said. “In a crime scene activity, we were able to solve a crime based on a few pieces of information and our knowledge from physics. I found that fascinating.”
Fascination soon turned to passion. Passion led to prizes. Josh recently competed in the United States Physics Olympiad and was awarded a Silver Medal.
Josh was one of four Southern Silver Medalists, and he is the highest scoring Southeastern competitor. He plans to continue studying for the next Physics Olympiad in hopes of winning a Gold Medal and a spot on the United States physics team.
“Josh is the most driven student I have ever encountered, which is why he has been so successful,” said his physics teacher, Meghan Bjork. “Working with Josh, it is clear that his motivation is internal and that he has a great deal of passion for physics.”
Josh’s first physics competition came in “The Physics Bowl,” a 45-minute test that is designed to interest kids in competing in the more challenging Physics Olympiad. After placing eighth in the bowl, and winning the southern region, Josh realized his aptitude for physics and started seriously preparing for the Olympiad.
As a sophomore, Josh took two classes through Stanford University’s online high school program. That summer he attended a String Theory seminar at Columbia University with 11 other students from around the world.
During his junior year, he convinced the board of The Westminster Schools that he could take AP Physics C, something a junior had never done before.
But Josh wasn’t sure that even these classes were sufficient preparation for the competition. So, over Christmas break, he took part in a physics boot camp.
“I was learning things just because I wanted to learn them, so I wasn’t really sure if I was on the right track,” he said. “Participating in the boot camp gave me an idea of what I needed to work on.”
Through this process, Josh realized that this southern state lacks a physics presence, which he’d like to change. He hopes to use his experience to train other students to compete in the Physics Olympiad.
Josh is weighing college options, but he is interested in Harvard and Dartmouth because their physics programs would allow him to also pursue business studies.
This article was reported and written by Amanda Gibson, a student at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School.