Michael H. Winer, a student at Montgomery Blair High School, has been named one of three first-place winners in the 2015 Intel Science Talent Search. Mr. Winer won the First Place Medal of Distinction for Innovation in the prestigious science competition, which culminated Tuesday night, and receives a $150,000 award.
Mr. Winer, one of 40 finalists in this year’s Talent Search, was recognized for his research on how fundamental quasi-particles of sound, called phonons, interact with electrons. The Medal of Distinction for Innovation Award celebrates finalists who demonstrate the problem-solving aptitude of an engineer through innovative design and creativity. Mr. Winer’s work could potentially be applied to more complex atomic structures such as superconductors.
“Our students continue to shine in this rigorous competition and this is a very proud day for MCPS and for the Montgomery Blair High School community,” said Interim Superintendent of Schools Larry A. Bowers. “Congratulations to Michael 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 and 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 and the Public announced 300 semifinalists, including 16 from Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). Later in January, the names of 40 finalists were announced. MCPS had two finalists in the competition.
The other MCPS finalist besides Mr. Winer was Yizhen Zhang, a Richard Montgomery High School student. Ms. Zhang’s project was entitled Wiring for "Blue" û Connectome of the S-Cone Photoreceptor in the Outer Retina. Mr. Winer and Ms. Zhang were the only students in the state of Maryland to be named finalists.
The finalists participated in the competition’s culminating event March 5-10, 2015, and the winners were announced at a gala on Tuesday night.