Physics Olympiad at Foothill College

The American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Institute of Physics sponsor the US Physics Team, a select group of high school students who represent the United States in international competition at the Physics Olympiad. Members of this team are flown to a training camp in Maryland at the end of May, and five are chosen for international travel. In 2020 the Physics Olympiad will take place in Lithuania.

How do you become a part of this? The first step is to take the F=ma test, a multiple-choice exam that covers mechanics at the non-calculus level. Foothill College will be acting as a host for the F=ma test, if your school does not offer the exam. If your school does offer the exam, you should take it there. If you wish to participate at Foothill, we will cover the costs associated with the exam. Due to student feedback, we offer the written version rather than the online version. The Foothill deadline for entry will be December 2, and the test itself will be held on Tuesday, January 28.

The top 300 to 400 students in the country will be invited back for a semi-final exam that covers all topics in introductory physics at a basic-calculus level. The top 20 from the semi-final become members of the US Physics Team.

For more information about the F=ma test of the Physics Olympiad see

For questions about Foothill College's administration of the F=ma exam, send email to