2010-2011 Archives

Stories from 2010-2011 include the following...

Intel Names Seven TJ Students Semifinalists in Science Talent Search

NEWS RELEASE January 19, 2011

Seven students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria were named semifinalists in the 2011 Intel Science Talent Search. Each semifinalist will receive a $1,000 award. In addition, TJ will receive $1,000 for each semifinalist to be used to further excellence in science, math and engineering education.

TJ’s Intel semifinalists and the titles of their projects are:

William Edward Bunting, 18, Herndon Neutrino and Antineutrino Mass Bounds by a New Method

Sanjeet Das, 18, Chantilly Metamaterial integrated Solar Concentrator (MiSC)

Sang Min Han, 18, Fairfax Excitation of Low Frequency Stimulated Electromagnetic Emissions (LF/SEE) in the Ionosphere by High Power Radio Waves

Kelly McKenzie Ivins-O’Keefe, 16, Annandale Hydrogen Sulfide: A Novel Molecular Target for Breast Cancer Therapy

Venkat Iyer, 17, Herndon Crystallization of a Novel Malarial Protein CelTOS, for X-ray Crystal Structure Determination and Anti-malarial Development

Aman Dev Kansal, 18, Vienna Synthesis and Characterization of Indium Nitride Nanowires

Rachel Epstein Marzen, 17, McLean Climate Induced Ecosystem Regime Shifts in the Bering Sea: Evidence from the Benthic Ostracode Assemblage

Three hundred semifinalists were selected this year from a pool of 1,744 applicants representing 499 high schools in 42 states, the District of Columbia, and one overseas school. Finalists will be announced January 26, and invited to attend the week-long Intel Science Institute in Washington, D.C., in March and compete for a grand prize of $100,000.

The Intel Science Talent Search recognizes independent research designed and executed by the students. Students submit detailed research reports, essay questions, recommendations, transcripts, and test scores.

All students at TJ are expected to complete a science or engineering research project during twelfth grade, either by working in one of the 13 science and technology research laboratories at the school, or by working in a commercial, government or university research lab or technical facility through TJ’s mentorship program. TJ students competing in the Intel Science Talent Search typically begin their projects before 12th grade.

TJ Debate Season Continues

NEWS RELEASE December 17, 2010

The debate season is well underway for students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, VA. At the second Washington-Arlington Catholic Forensic League tournament of the year, in the Public Forum event, the varsity team of Lisa Yang (Herndon) and Seoup Youn (Falls Church) placed sixth with a 3-1 record, fully qualifying them for Metrofinals, the invitational tournament next March. In JV, first-time debaters Nipun Singh (Herndon) and Prabhu Tewari went 3-1. In public forum debate format, two‐person teams make persuasive arguments in a cross-fire question-and-answer style. The tournament was held November 20 at King George High School in King George, Virginia. At the third WACFL tournament, a record 24 teams from TJ competed in Public Forum, many for the first time. In varsity, three teams half-qualified for Metrofinals with a 3-1 record: Kevin Sun (Annandale) and Kittie Helmick (Burke); Snigdha Kumar (Oak Hill) and Mashal Wakilpoor (Fairfax); and Darwin Li (Herndon) and Eashan Kaw (Great Falls). In JV, four teams achieved a 3-1 record: Nancy Ding (Vienna) and Anthony Uitz (McLean); Vansh Kumar (Sterling) and Zhereng Zhang (Herndon); Ed Lee (Annandale) and Ji Soo Song; and Nipun Singh and Prabhu Tewari. Singh and Tewari earned a bid to Metrofinals with their second 3-1 record of the year. This tournament was held December 11 at Westfield High School in Chantilly.

In a different event, Policy Debate, 12 TJ teams competed at the first WACFL season tournament, 2 in varsity and 10 in JV. For this style of competition, two-person teams use rapid delivery and cross-examination to debate an issue. Sulan Zheng (Herndon) and Akshay Deverakonda (Herndon) placed fifth in varsity, qualifying for Metrofinals. The tournament was held October 23 at Battlefield High School in Haymarket. At the second WACFL season tournament, eighteen TJ teams competed in Policy Debate, 3 in varsity and 15 in JV. In varsity, Peter Ahnn (Vienna) and Sam Luo (Great Falls) placed third, qualifying for Metrofinals, and Christopher Lee (Great Falls) was the first-place speaker. In JV, David Gao (Herndon) and Akshay Murthy (South Riding) placed first, qualifying for JV Metrofinals, and Yana Kaplun (Sterling) was the eighth-place speaker. Debate is a popular extracurricular activity at TJ, with nearly 200 students participating in the 2010-11 school year.

TJ Latin Students Compete

NEWS RELEASE December 9, 2010

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology language students brought home several trophies from the recent Classical Cottage Latin Certamen competition on November 6. The novice team of Hannah Pho (McLean), Ben Andre (Oakton), Jeff Horowitz (Oakton) and John Wilkes (McLean) took first place in their division. In the upper-level division, Zach Seid (Clifton), Akhila Ananthram (Clifton), Ricky Short (Springfield) and Philip Meyers (Herndon) took second, while third place awards went to the Latin second-year students Molly Hemenway, Daphne Fong (Fairfax), James Jang (Springfield), and Hyae-In Seo (McLean) and third-years Rachel Goldstein (Fairfax), Tommy Lunn (Sterling) and Alana Whitman (Alexandria). Second year students Katie Hough (Fairfax Station), Bruce Bland (Springfield), Sienna Lotenberg (Arlington) and Abi Gopal (Leesburg) also put in a strong effort.

Certamen is a quiz bowl-style competition for Latin students with classical-themed questions on mythology, Roman history and culture, and Latin grammar. Seventeen schools and approximately 200 students attended this Certamen, held at the Powhatan School in Boyce, Virginia.

TJ Rubik’s Cube

NEWS RELEASE October 29, 2010

Fairfax Students Conquer the Cube

Two area teams claimed victory at the recent Rubik’s Cube Tournament held on the National Mall as part of the USA Science and Engineering Festival on October 23.

In the high school tournament finals, the eight-member team from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria solved 25 cubes with a winning time of 1:47:77—just under two minutes. Team members are Mitchell Stern (Oakton), Kevin Zhou (Fairfax), David Weisiger (Fairfax), Evan Liu (Fairfax), Asa Kaplan (Burke), Chris Mercado (Springfield), Will Bunting (Herndon), and Chris Kim (Oak Hill). The team sponsor is Christine Conklin.

In the K-8 division, the team from Longfellow Middle School in Falls Church took first place with a time of 3:38:41, narrowly beating the team from Spring Hill Elementary in McLean. Longfellow team members are Alex Wendt, Suwon Joo, RJ Doro, Nick Alvarez, Sam Williams, Tyler Larkworthy, James Cavanaugh, Raymond Yang, Savina Syach (alternate), and Fadi Farid (alternate). The team sponsor is Jim Bradford.

Winning teams each received trophies and a cash prize of $1,000 to be used to enhance math and/or science education efforts at their schools. Erno Rubik, the inventor of Rubik’s Cube, was on hand to award the prizes.

At the high school level, 18 schools from the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia competed, with 6 schools qualifying the final round. At the K-8 level, 20 schools competed in the preliminaries and 6 schools in the finals.

The Rubik’s Cube team at TJ is new this year, and hopes to attend another tournament at MIT in the spring.

This tournament was sponsored by the You CAN Do The Rubik’s Cube initiative aimed at teaching youth how to solve the Rubik's Cube as a classroom tool for teaching fundamental geometry and algebra concepts.

This is the thirtieth anniversary of Rubik’s Cube, first released in 1980.

TJ Quiz Bowl

NEWS RELEASE October 22, 2010

Students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria kicked off the quiz bowl season by hosting NOEXIT—the Novice Oriented EXcellent Invitational Tournament—on October 16. Fourteen schools traveling from as far as Richmond brought a total of 28 teams of novice players, including 6 teams from Jefferson. This was the first year that Jefferson has hosted a fall novice tournament.

Jefferson’s novice A team, composed of Hope Flaxman (McLean), Jonathan Leidenheimer (McLean), Raynor Kuang (Fairfax), and Sarah Eltinge (Oakton), was narrowly edged for first place by Richard Montgomery HS of Rockville.

The tournament was entirely student-run, and was managed by tournament directors Olivia Murton (McLean) and Thalia Aoki (McLean), as well as director-in-training Peter Town (Alexandria).

TJ Debate

NEWS RELEASE October 22, 2010

The debate season has already begun for students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria. At the Wake Forest National Earlybird Tournament on September 10–12, the team of Kevin Sun (Annandale) and Kittie Helmick (Burke) broke into double octafinals for public forum debate, in the varsity division. This prestigious tournament was attended by nearly 800 students from more than 100 schools in the southeast and mid-Atlantic.

At the first Washington-Arlington Catholic Forensic League tournament of the season on October 16, in the JV public forum division, the team of Aileen Huang (Herndon) and Carrie Sun (Annandale) placed third with a 3-1 record, and first-time partners Mashal Wakilpoor (Fairfax) and Tahmina Achekzhai (Fairfax) placed fifth with a 3-1 record. In public forum debate competition, two‐person teams debate different topics monthly in a cross-fire question and answer style.

At Jefferson, debate and forensics are increasingly popular extracurricular activities, with nearly 200 students participating in the 2010-11 school year.

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