New Clubs at Irvington High School: IHS Physics Club

The Physics Club logo.

Vincent Wang

The Physics Club logo.

Physics Club is currently a trial club. Its advisor is Mr. Fung, and it was founded by Vincent Wang, Asher Jiang, and Kaiwen Xiao. It hosts Zoom lectures on AP Physics as well as competition-oriented topics. Students interested in joining should join the club Discord through a link in their Instagram profile. Read secretary Asher Jiang’s (11) experience helping create the club.

What inspired you to establish Physics Club?

I discussed creating Physics Club with our president, Vincent Wang, back in 10th grade because we were both very into physics and competitions. Because of the quarantine, it got delayed a bit, but when school started up in person again, we worked on the [club constitution] and [application questionnaires] together and discussed the curriculum.

What was the club creation process like?

We had to come up with a good curriculum, as in what the club actually wants to do. And we had to figure out how to structure the club so that it would appeal to a wide enough audience to keep it going for the long term.

How has student reception to the club been so far?

I think that the people joining our club are mostly AP Physics 1 students who may be having a bit of trouble in their current class. Reception’s been better than we expected. We were really worried about having very few members, but we have had a decently large following at the few meetings we’ve had so far.

I think physics at Irvington is a very niche subject compared to some other schools that I’ve been talking to. It’s rather difficult for us to get members just because there aren’t many people doing competitive physics like the Physics Olympiad.

I think we do need to appeal to a larger audience. Right now, we don’t have enough people to really figure out what would be most appealing to the general audience. 

What are some upcoming events?

Right now, what we really have set in stone are the two Astronomy Olympiads, as well as the two Physics Olympiads. We’re offering extra credit opportunities for taking the latter in January and February, and for taking our house written exam in December, right before finals of the first semester. I believe that might be helpful for anyone who’s in AP Physics and wants a small boost to their grade. We also have lectures and problem solving meetings, which alternate every week.

What would you say to students who are on the fence about whether or not to join the club?

Just come to one of our meetings, preferably the ones that are about easier lectures, unless you’re very confident in your physics abilities. Come check us out, and if you like what we’re doing, feel free to join. We’re open to everyone, no matter your skill level in physics.

More about Physics Club through member Jacquelyn Chen’s (11) perspective:

Why did you join Physics Club?

I don’t have a very deep knowledge of physics, because I’m taking the normal path physics course. I wanted to join the Physics Club because it’s more geared towards preparing for AP Physics. 

What did you think of the club’s activities?

I think the lectures are a bit fast paced, but that’s because it’s limited to one hour a week and there’s a lot of material to cover. I think Kaiwen explained it pretty well, so it was easy to grasp the concepts, and the handout was well made. Also, they have a chat discussion, so you can post questions about certain topics. I think it’s helpful because you can get insight from your peers; sometimes it’s intimidating to ask teachers for help. 

Would you recommend this club to other students?

I feel like joining this club could be a good experience for students who are interested in physics, because they might be able to experience what a physics course would be like. For the students who are reluctant to take physics because they feel underprepared, joining the physics club can help you build confidence and get help if you need it. Also, it’s related to the other sciences, so even just basic knowledge of physics can help with your other courses.