Morgan Park Academy’s Academic Challenge team began its postseason push with top scores across all math and science categories in regional competition at the University of St. Francis on Feb. 8, 2019.

Competing in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering graphics, math, and physics, MPA not only succeeded in Division 300 against schools its own size, but measured up against high schools with 10 times more students.

Teaming up to advance to March sectionals were seniors Murphy Chen, Bryan Coronado, Ethan Deng, Tony Tang, Will Wei, and William Zhang; junior Celeste Kettaneh; sophomores Brycen Worsham and Oscar Zhang; and freshmen Tom Gu and Merlin Mo.

MPA Medalists (Division 300)
Murphy Chen – first in mathematics, second in chemistry
Bryan Coronado – first in computer science
Ethan Deng – first in engineering graphics, third in physics
Celeste Kettaneh – first in chemistry
Merlin Mo – second in engineering graphics, third in mathematics
Tony Tang – first in physics, third in computer science
Will Wei – second in computer science (tie)
Oscar Zhang – second in computer science (tie), third in engineering graphics
William Zhang – first in biology

The Academic Challenge is a competitive series of tests created by a team of academic experts and previously administered by the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) program in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Headquartered now at Eastern Illinois University, the competition has offered challenging annual exams to Illinois high school students for local, regional, and statewide competition since 1975.

Morgan Park Academy’s team, first started by retired science teacher Dr. Larry Brown, has a 25-year history of top-level success in state competition, including Illinois Division 300 championships in 1997 and 2012. Recent state medalists include top-3 finishers Jeffrey Eichinger in 2015 and Tony Tang and Adam Wu in 2018.