A team of 15 students from Montgomery Blair High School has captured its fifth championship in the international Knowledge Master Open, outscoring 1,298 other teams from high schools across the globe in the spring 1999 event and furthering the record of exceptional performance by county public schools in the academic competition.
Teams from three more local high schools finished among the top 30 contenders in the April 19 competition: Walter Johnson High School came in ninth place, Quince Orchard High School was 15th, and Richard Montgomery High School finished 27th in the nation.
County public schools have won 13 of the 31 high school championships in the Knowledge Master Open, which is played entirely by computer, since the twice-yearly competition began in 1983. Six-time champion Rockville High School holds the international record for winning. With five international titles now, Montgomery Blair is poised to challenge the records of both Rockville and the Thomas Jefferson School of Science and Technology in Fairfax, Virginia, which also has won five championships. Jefferson placed eighth in the spring competition, and Rockville placed 55th among the entrants.
County high schools dominated the state results, earning seven of the top 10 places in Maryland.
In the middle school division, a team from Cabin John Middle School placed second in the state and 84th internationally among 1,292 entrants.
The Blair team correctly answered 193 of the 200 multiple-choice questions covering 14 curricular areas. Using a school computer and a special password, the team accesses the contest, which must be completed in one session requiring 2 to 2 1/2 hours for secondary schools. Both speed and accuracy were key elements in the scoring.
The Blair team members are 12th graders David Rosenblum, captain, Kaushik Roy, Manish Gala, Andrew Mills and Kitty Leung; 11th graders Jason Rubenstein, Tutu Sahu and Susan Huang; 10th graders Ravi Kacker, Gene Ko, William Pastor and Brinda Thomas; and ninth graders Howard Ye, Jesse Jou and Ling Bei. The team coaches were R. B. Lasco, media specialist, and Jacob Lee, social studies teacher.
Academic Hallmarks, a Colorado-based publishing firm, sponsors the competition.