Team From Montgomery Blair High School Wins Second Place in International Knowledge Master Open

December 23, 1999
A team of 18 students from Montgomery Blair High School has won second place in the fall 1999 international Knowledge Master Open, furthering the record of exceptional performance by county public schools in the academic competition.

The Blair team outscored 1,063 other teams from high schools across the globe in the contest to maintain Blair's standing as one of the dominant schools in the event. Last spring, a Blair team captured the top spot.

Teams from two more local high schools finished among the top 20 contenders in the December 8 competition: Walter Johnson High School came in seventh, and Richard Montgomery High School finished 14th.

MCPS schools have won 13 of the 32 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, Montgomery Blair is poised to challenge the records of Rockville and of the Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology in Virginia, which also has won five championships.

In the middle school division, a team from Cabin John Middle School placed first in the state and 84th internationally among 1,003 entrants.

Clearspring Elementary School, the only Maryland school to field a fifth grade team, placed 75 out of the 519 schools in the fifth grade event.

The Blair team correctly answered 197 of the 200 multiple-choice questions. The questions covered 14 curricular areas, including American and world history, government, economics and law, geography, literature, math, the sciences and fine arts.

Blair's team coaches were mathematics teacher Kevin Westrich and social studies teacher David Swaney. Colorado-based publisher Academic Hallmarks sponsors the event.

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