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April 10, 2017

Talented Blazers take on award season in early 2017

by Mehana Daftary, Editor-in-Chief
Throughout the beginning of 2017, many Blazers entered competitions and fairs to showcase their skills in a variety of subjects. A number of them were recognized for their achievements.

DC Metro Scholastic Art & Writing Competition
The Writopia Lab held the 2017 DC Metro Scholastic Art & Writing Competition. Several Blair students were honored with Gold Keys, Silver Keys and Honorable Mentions, for their fiction writing, poetry and art.

Seniors Lauren Frost and Sankara Olama-Yai were awarded Silver Keys for their Short Stories and Poetry, respectively. Senior Emma Jin received a Gold Key for her science fiction story "Like Stars in the Night." Juniors Wendy Shi and Michael Yin were awarded Honorable Mentions for their essays, poetry, and short stories. Sophomore Mindy Burton received an honorable mention for her Flash Fiction story "Cold Cash."

Junior Tiffany Mao received a Silver Key for her poem entitled "A Snapshot of Time" and a Gold Key for her painting entry. Mao spent months on her art pieces. "I really enjoy painting, and for the contest I chose to paint fruits, something organic. It takes me a couple months to really polish a piece," Mao said.

Gandhi Brigade
Members of the organization Gandhi Brigade Youth Media, from Blair and other schools, were awarded second place at the Independent Film Festival for their documentary about police accountability. Students Alix Swann, Kaleb Dagne, Abel Demiss, Zenab Abubakari and Alyssa Berrios, in addition to other non-Blair students wanted to bring awareness to the lack of police accountability. The groupís goal was to create an inclusive documentary. "We, as minorities, wanted to express our opinions on the issue and also showcase the other side of the issue," Dagne said.
Its Academic team students hold a trophy after winning. Courtesy of Ben Miller
Its Academic team students hold a trophy after winning.

Itís Academic
Senior Sambuddha Chattopadhyay, juniors Ben Miller and David Witten and sophomores Anson Berns and Ian Rackow, Blairís Itís Academic (ItsAc) team won the Montgomery Academic Beltway League, Maryland National Academic Quiz Tournaments (MD NAQT) State Championship, and Itís Academic Playoff Round. They will advance to the Itís Academic semifinals later this year, which is a local quiz show that airs every Saturday morning. In addition to competing on air, the team will compete locally against schools from Maryland, Virginia and D.C.

Forensics
Senior Willa Murphy received first place in Serious Prose and 2nd place in Serious Poetry in the Montgomery County Forensic League 2017 competition. She is the co-captain of Blairís Forensic Club, which specializes in the exploration of literary and theatrical works through public speaking performances. Murphy advanced through the qualifier, semi-finalist and finalist rounds.

Science Research
Senior Ethan Chen was awarded 2nd place at the 2017 Regional Junior Science and Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS). He will present his project at National JSHS in San Diego, in late April.

Three Blair students were named Montgomery Countyís representatives for the International Science and Engineering Fair, more commonly known as ISEF after competing in the local science fair, Science Montgomery. Sophomore Naveen Durvasula and Senior Sambuddha Chattopadhyay, in addition to alternate sophomore Daniel Schaffer will head to Los Angeles, California in late May for the national competition.

Chattopadhyay and Senior Rohan Dalvi were named two of 40 Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS) finalists. They were invited to Washington, D.C. in early March to compete in the final fair.

Robotics
The Blair Robot Project, Team 449, performed well at the Chesapeake District Championships shortly and looks forward to competing at nationals in St. Louis.

Editorís Note: Ben Miller is a member of Silver Chips Print. Alyssa Berrios and Lauren Frost are both members of Silver Chips Online.



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