Fourteen MCPS Students Named Intel Science Talent Search Semifinalists

January 12, 2012
Fourteen Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students have been selected as semifinalists for the 2012 Intel Science Talent Search, one of the most prestigious precollegiate science competitions in the nation. The MCPS students account for most of Maryland’s 18 semifinalists.

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. The MCPS semifinalists come from Montgomery Blair, Walter Johnson, Richard Montgomery, Poolesville, and Walt Whitman high schools. There were 300 semifinalists nationwide, who were chosen from a pool of 1,839 entries.

MCPS has been a national leader in this competition for many years and routinely is one of the school districts with the most semifinalists.

“Our students continue to shine in the Intel Science Talent Search by demonstrating a strong commitment to advanced science,” said Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr. “Congratulations to our semifinalists, their families, and the outstanding schools and educators that are supporting them.” 

The research projects entered by MCPS semifinalists covered a broad range of scientific topics, including cancer treatment, air quality and climate change, and the use of stem cells to treat cataracts.

Each of the semifinalists will receive a $1,000 award for his or her outstanding research. Additionally, to recognize excellence in teaching and school support, schools will receive an award of $1,000 for each semifinalist, which is to be used to further excellence in science, math, and engineering education.

Forty finalists will be chosen on January 25 and will compete March 8-13 in Washington, D.C., for the top prize of $100,000.

The MCPS semifinalists are:

Montgomery Blair High School
Lorenzo Joseph Choudhary-Smith
Arec Levon Jamgochian
Lori A. Kaufman
Frederic Koehler
Maureen Lei
Sherman Leung
James Lewis Shepherdson
Andrew Zhang

Walter Johnson High School
Andrew G. Miller

Richard Montgomery High School
Alan Ren Xie

Poolesville High School
Peinan Chen
Pavleen Thukral
Jack Louis Zhu

Walt Whitman High School
Kevin Shaopin Tyan 

To see a list of all the semifinalists and their projects, visit
the Society for Science & the Public’s website.

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