Local student is U.S. Physics Olympic Team semi-finalist

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by TaLeiza Calloway

Christian Gaetz has always liked the sciences.

Whether it’s math, physics, chemistry or biology, it doesn’t matter. That’s his world.

This might explain why the 17-year-old St. Joseph resident said he isn’t nervous about an upcoming 3.5-hour exam to become a finalist for the U.S. Physics Olympic Team.

After all, he has already been named a semi-finalist for the team.

The St. John’s Prep School student is one of the top 400 physics students in the country. He was one of five to take a qualifying exam in his physics class and was the only one to make it to the next level – the 3.5-hour exam he will take by March 23.

Gaetz explained that many schools offer the test. He said the cut-off level or high score on the qualifying exam he took was 15.5. His score was 16.5.

For now – when he’s not working with the Knowledge Bowl team, preparing for baseball season or taking in a game of paintball – he’s reading books and reviewing past physics exams in preparation for the exam.

If he places in the top 20 from this exam, he will travel to Maryland-College Park to participate in a two-week Physics Camp and enter an international competition.

Author: TaLeiza Calloway

TaLeiza Calloway is a professional journalist in Central Minnesota. Her byline has appeared in the St. Cloud Times and Central Minnesota Women Magazine. The Ohio native moved to Minnesota about four years ago. She joined the St. Joseph Newsleader staff as a reporter in November 2011.

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