Morgan Park Academy’s Academic Challenge team continued its postseason push with high scores across all math and science categories in sectional competition at Joliet Junior College on March 10, 2020.

Competing in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering graphics, English, mathematics, and physics, MPA placed third in Division 300 against other schools our size.

Teaming up to advance to the state finals were seniors Anthony Jurek and Celeste Kettaneh; juniors Frank Li, Oscar Zhang, and Wayne Zhang; and sophomores Tom Gu and Merlin Mo.

“All of them did a great job to contribute to the team score,” said coach Jae eun Yoon, who teaches Upper School math.

Two students earned individual medals:

  • Merlin, first in engineering graphics and second in physics; and
  • Frank, third in mathematics and fourth in chemistry.

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 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; Tony Tang and Adam Wu in 2018; and Merlin, Tony, Bryan Coronado, Ethan Deng, and Will Wei in 2019.