15 MCPS Students Are Intel Semifinalists

January 17, 2007
15 MCPS Students Are Named Semifinalists in the Intel Science Talent Search

Number of Montgomery Blair High School Semifinalists (12) is Second Highest Among Nation’s High Schools

Twelve students from Montgomery Blair High School were named semifinalists in the 66th Intel Science Talent Search, one of the most prestigious and rigorous science competitions for high school students in the United States.

Blair had the second highest number of semifinalists in the nation, behind only Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, Virginia, which had 14. Montgomery County Public Schools had a total of 15 of Maryland’s 22 semifinalists in the competition, including one each from Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Walt Whitman, and Thomas S. Wootton high schools.

A representative of Intel made a special visit to Blair on January 17 to congratulate the semifinalists and present them with $1,000 checks. Schools of Intel finalists also receive $1,000 for each semifinalist, to use for their science and math programs.

“This was really an important honor because it means that I actually did a good research project and that other people recognize I did a good project,” said Blair student Joshua Yanovsky. “I also got $1,000.” Yanovsky said the most important and enjoyable part of the research process for his theoretical computer science project was “the moment I figured out I had something no one else had ever done before. It was nice to look at that and realize I’d proved something.”

“They are all absolutely astounding,” said Glenda Torrence, research coordinator in the Science, Mathematics, Computer Science Magnet Program at Blair. All of the Blair semifinalists are students in the rigorous program. “They’ve had good training. The courses they have taken have put them in a good place to do this. They’re easy to work with and eager to learn. They take information and just absorb it.”

The Science Talent Search has been administered by Science Service, a nonprofit organization, since 1942. The 300 semifinalists were selected from a record 1,705 entrants from throughout the nation.

The list will be trimmed to 40 finalists, who will attend the Science Talent Institute in Washington, D.C., in March 8-13. The finalists will participate in a final judging process and share in $530,000 in scholarships. The top winner will be announced at a March 13 black tie banquet and awards ceremony.

The names of the semifinalists and their project titles are attached.

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