Ishaun S. Datta, a student at Montgomery Blair High School, took top honors in the 2014 Intel Science Talent Search, one of the most rigorous and prestigious science competitions for high school students in the nation. Mr. Datta finished 10th overall in the competition, which culminated Tuesday night, and receives a $20,000 award.
Mr. Datta was one of 40 national finalists in this year’s Talent Search, and was recognized for his research that used computer models and equations to improve the understanding of the interactions of nuclear matter. He is also captain of Blair High School’s debate team and is an active participant in the arts.
Mr. Datta was one of three finalists from Montgomery Blair High School, which had the most finalists of any school in the nation. Blair has had the most finalists of any school since 1999.
“This is a very proud day for MCPS and for the Blair High School community,” said Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr. “Congratulations to Ishaun on this outstanding achievement and to all of our Intel Science Talent Search finalists, semifinalists and participants.”
The Intel Science Talent Search is administered by the Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education. Overall, there were 1,800 entries in this year’s Intel Science Talent Search. In January, the Society for Science & the Public announced 300 semifinalists, including 15 from Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). Later in January, the names of 40 finalists were announced.
The other MCPS finalists besides Mr. Datta were Neil S. Davey, whose project was entitled “Early Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Through the Detection of Circulating Tumor Cells Using Drop-Based Microfluidics,” and Jessica Shi, whose project was entitled “The Speeds of Families of Intersection Graphs.”
The finalists participated in the competitions culminating event March 6-11, 2014 and the winners were announced at a gala on Tuesday night.