Magnet News: Fall 2012

Ned Johnson, who taught 9th grade Research & Experimentation from 1985 through 2001, passed away on August 18, 2012. An obituary was published in the Gazette.  Mr. Johnson developed the foundations of the R&E curriculum, and his philosophy of hands-on learning and the integration of science and technology were cornerstones of the Magnet program.

He sponsored students in the NASA Space Science Student Involvement Program (SSSIP) for many years, and despite entering 9th-graders against juniors and seniors at other schools, Blair Magnet students consistently won awards at SSSIP including trips to NASA facilities around the country.  Mr. Johnson was the first sponsor of the Blair Robotics Team, and he took them to their first FIRST Robotics Competition before he retired in 2001.

Other Magnet News:
  • Blair has 8 semifinalists and 1 finalist in the 2012 Siemens Competition.  Neil Davey '14 and his partner Katie Barufka won the team category at the regional finals, and they will go to the National finals in December to present their research, entitled “Deletion of Endonuclease G Disrupts Mitochondrial Homeostasis and Leads to Reduced Virulence in the Human Protozoan Parasite Leishmania Mexicana.” 
  • The Montgomery County Math Team was featured in the Washington Post.
  • Sam Zbarsky '13 won Honorable Mention at the International Linguistics Olympiad.
  • Gabriella Studt '14 won a Bronze Medal at the China Girls Math Olympiad.
  • 37 Blair Students were named National Merit Semifinalists.
  • Amy Li '16 won a gold medal at the Junior World Wushu Competition.
  • Blair has started a new Biology Club.
  • The Blair Physics Team won first place in the Mystery Event at Final Frontiers.  Matthew Das Sarma '15, Mike Winer '15, and Bendeguz Offertaler '15 won first place in the Physics I division in the Newton's Nightmare Competition.
  • Charlie Pasternak '13 was chosen to present at the Undergraduate Poster Session of the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego in January.  His abstract was prepared from a paper he wrote this summer at the Research Science Institute at MIT, entitled "Random Error Models in Quantum Error Correction".