Minnesota high schooler competing in International Physics Olympiad

Evan Erickson of Lake Elmo will be one of five U.S. high school students who will be competing in the International Physics Olympiad. (FOX 9)

A Lake Elmo teenager will be a different kind of Olympian this summer. He's been selected to compete in the world championships of physics for high school students.

Evan Erickson has always had a knack for solving scientific problems, like using a laser to measure the width of a human hair. Now, he is taking his talent for physics to the world stage.

"It is very exciting," said Erickson. "I was very elated when I got the news. It’s a huge honor."

The high school senior is one of the top mathletes in the state, placing fifth in the Minnesota High School Math League this year.

He is also one of five students from across the country to make the U.S. Physics Team, which will compete at the International Physics Olympiad later this month. At the competition, they will finish two five-hour experimental and theoretical tests on everything from electricity and magnets to relativity.

"It includes mechanics, making them move, why they move, springs and gravity, like Newton's Law," said Erickson. "That kind of stuff."

Erickson is no stranger to overachieving. He got a perfect ACT score when he was in the ninth grade. He and a friend even started a free online math camp to help middle school students with subjects like algebra and geometry over the summer.

"Using my talents and abilities to help others is really important," he said. "That was a way I could help others learn and love math."

Due to COVID restrictions, Erickson will take part in the Olympiad from here in Minnesota instead of traveling to Lithuania.

"It’s kind of a bummer to not be able to travel to another country, but it’s better do it locally than not do it," he said.

He hopes his love of physics will add up to a win.

"It’s a huge opportunity and I'm excited I have the honor of doing it," said Erickson.