Three Blair Students Named Finalists in National Competition

Three Montgomery Blair High School students are among the forty finalists named in a national science and math competition for high school seniors.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Society for Science & the Public sponsor the Regeneron Science Talent Search. The competition, known as the Westinghouse Science Talent Search from 1942-1997 and the Intel Science Talent Search from 1998-2016, is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious such competition.

The Blair students selected, along with a summary of their projects, are:

  • Grace Cai, who studied the algorithms guiding swarming robots, each of which must perform individually, yet together, in ways that are similar to the flocking behavior and formations of birds in flight. Her algorithm improves the ability of the swarm to decide between speed and accuracy in urgent situations.
  • Kevin Qian,whose physics project generalized results about taking extremely accurate measurements of fields such as gravitational or electromagnetic fields using quantum networks, and
  • Daniel Schäffer, who conducted research into the genetics of intracellular calcium regulation provides new insight into the evolution of this important process. His findings may someday aid the treatment of the rare genetic illness Wolfram syndrome.

Finalists were chosen from a pool of nearly 2,000 entrants, all of whom completed an original research project and underwent an extensive application process.

The finalists will travel to Washington, D.C. from March 7-13, where they will compete for more than $1.8 million in awards. The finalists are each awarded at least $25,000, and the top 10 awards range from $40,000 to $250,000. The top 10 will be announced at a gala held March 12 at the National Building Museum.

They will also have the opportunity to interact with leading scientists, meet with members of Congress and display their projects to the public at the National Geographic Society on March 10.

Above, the 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search. Below, the three finalists from Blair High School.

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