Montgomery Blair High Tops Nation in Intel Science Semifinalists

January 16, 2002
Seventeen students from Montgomery Blair High School -- more than any other school in the nation -- and two students from Walt Whitman High School were named semifinalists in the 61st Intel Science Talent Search, one of the most prestigious and rigorous science competitions for high school students in the United States.

Representatives from Science Service, which administers the program, announced the 300 semifinalists on January 16 at ceremonies held at Montgomery Blair and a few other selected schools throughout the nation that had a high number of semifinalists.

Nineteen of Maryland's 23 semifinalists were from Montgomery County Public Schools. They are:

Montgomery Blair High School: Jennifer Alyono, Jacob Burnim, Radhika Char, Steven Chemtob, Enoch Chu, Byron Drumheller, Jennifer Helgeson, Robert Jin, Fun-Chen Jou, Nancy Ku, Jean Li, John Li, Edward Lin, Alexey Rostapshov, Rahul Satija, Gregory Vieira and Bingni Wen.

Walt Whitman High School: Santhi Gollapalli and Ophelia Venturelli.

Each of the 300 semifinalists will receive $1,000 in recognition of their scientific achievements. In addition, schools will receive $1,000 per semifinalist to be used for the school's science and math programs.

The Science Talent Search semifinalists, selected from 1,592 applicants, represent 31 states, the District of Columbia and Guam. Students were judged based on their individual research ability, scientific originality and creative thinking. Research projects covered all disciplines of science, including chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering, social science and biology. Top scientists from a variety of disciplines reviewed and judged all entries.

In addition to the scholarships, all semifinalists and their teachers receive certificates of merit. Science Service, a nonprofit organization that administers the program for Intel, recommends these students to select colleges and universities for admission and financial assistance.

The list will be trimmed to 40 finalists on January 30. The students will attend the Science Talent Institute in Washington, D.C. in March to participate in final judging and compete for college scholarships totaling $530,000. The finalists will undergo a rigorous interview process, with winners announced at a banquet on March 11.

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