Morgan Park Academy’s Academic Challenge team continued its postseason success with a strong performance in sectional competition, with nine students earning top-3 finishes in Division 300 and seven of them advancing to the 2019 state finals.
Competing in chemistry, computer science, engineering graphics, mathematics, and physics were MPA seniors Murphy Chen, Bryan Coronado, Ethan Deng, Tony Tang, Will Wei, and William Zhang; juniors Celeste Kettaneh and Olga Mourgelas; sophomore Oscar Zhang; and freshmen Tom Gu and Merlin Mo.
Bryan, Ethan, Merlin, Oscar, Tom, Tony, and Will qualified for the April 22 state finals at Eastern Illinois University.
MPA Medalists (Division 300)
Murphy Chen — third in chemistry, third in mathematics
Bryan Coronado — second* in computer science, second* in mathematics
Ethan Deng — first* in engineering graphics
Tom Gu — first* in computer science
Merlin Mo — first* in mathematics, third in engineering graphics
Tony Tang — first* in physics
Will Wei — second* in physics
Oscar Zhang — second* in engineering graphics
William Zhang — third in physics
*denotes state qualifier
MPA did not receive an official team score because a scheduling conflict with our annual Global Week meant that the team had to take the sectional exams at a different time than other schools.
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.