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Education Notebook - 06/04/03

Students Win Awards

At Intel Fair

<bt>Seven students from Fairfax County Public Schools won 14 major awards at the recent Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held in Cleveland, Ohio. The following is a list of the students, their school, award and project.

* Sita Palepu, Madison High School, first award of $500 from the Acoustical Society of America; Behavioral and Social Sciences Best of Category award of $5,000 and first award of $3,000 from the Intel Foundation for "Absolute vs. Relative Pitch: It’s Music to My Ears! Or Is It to My Mind?"

* Jessica Haney, Oakton High School, third award of $300 from the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Physical Society for "Characterization of Bending Loss in Optical Fiber."

* Elizabeth Varela, West Potomac High School, IEEE Foundation presidents scholarship of $10,000; the Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development award of $1,000 and an internship; United Technologies Corporation stock valued at $2,000; National Aeronautics and Space Administration trip to attend U.S. Space Camp; and fourth award of $500 in engineering from the Intel Foundation for "A Magnetohydrodynamic Direct Current Transformer."

* Jonathan Mizrahi, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), U.S. Navy and Marine Corps scholarship of $8,000; fourth award of $500 in computer science from the Intel Foundation for "Modeling Physical Systems Using Flux Corrected Transport on a Fully Threaded Tree."

* Kenneth Ott, TJHSST, fourth award of $500 in biochemistry from the Intel Foundation for "PBMCs as an in vitro Model for the Immune Responses."

* Belle Bredehoft, Mount Vernon High School, third award of $1,000 in Engineering from the Intel Foundation for "The Effect of Wing Tips on Length of Trailing Vortices."

* Benjamin Munyan, TJHSST, third award of $1,000 in medicine and health from Merck Research Laboratories for "A Theory for Electric Field Control of Epileptic Seizure Propagation."

<sh>National Merit

Scholarships Winners

<bt>Fourteen students from Fairfax County Public Schools have been named winners of college-sponsored merit scholarship awards from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. This is the third group of National Merit Scholarship award winners announced this year, bringing the total number of county school-system winners to 53.

Scholarship recipients, with their probable career fields, include:

Patrick Rottman, Chantilly High School, international-area studies, University of Oklahoma merit scholarship; Stephanie McKee, Lake Braddock Secondary School, nuclear engineering, University of Tennessee alumni merit scholarship; William Harper III, Langley High School, undecided, University of the South merit scholarship; Elizabeth Traut, Madison High School, engineering, Virginia Tech merit scholarship; John Tsiaperas, Madison High School, software engineering, Alfred University merit scholarship; Laura Jones, Mount Vernon High School, aerospace engineering, Virginia Tech merit scholarship; Sonya Khan, South Lakes High School, medicine, University of Southern California merit scholarship; Alexander Aman, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), linguistics, University of Southern California merit scholarship; Barbara Colberg, TJHSST, medicine, Ohio State University merit scholarship; Laura Doyle, TJHSST, biomedical engineering, Johns Hopkins University merit scholarship; David Fitzsimons, TJHSST, engineering, Purdue University merit scholarship; Jeffrey Robinson, TJHSST, broadcast journalism, University of Southern California merit scholarship; Bradley Tonnesen, TJHSST, engineering, Rice University merit scholarship; and Laura Pilkington, West Springfield High School, physics, University of Florida merit scholarship.

College-sponsored awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually and may be renewed to cover up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship. Officials of each sponsor college select scholarship winners from among National Merit Finalists who plan to attend their institution.

The final group of merit scholarship winners for the class of 2003 will be announced in July.

<sh>EPA Grant

<bt>Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Christine Todd Whitman announced a proposed $1 million commitment to Fairfax County Public Schools, to be used to retrofit older diesel school buses, Wednesday, June 4.

The $1 million is part of an agreement between the EPA and Dominion Virginia Power to provide more than $2 million to school divisions in Virginia, including Fairfax County, to retrofit school buses to help reduce emissions from diesel engines. EPA has launched a new initiative, Clean School Bus USA, to improve air quality in communities and protect the health of school children and the public. The initiative encourages adopting policies and practices to eliminate unnecessary public school bus idling, upgrading or retrofitting older buses with better emission control technologies and fueling them with cleaner fuels, and replacing the oldest buses with new, less polluting buses. The school system has already instituted a no-idling policy.

Fairfax County schools has one of the largest publicly owned school bus fleets in the country, transporting approximately 110,000 students each day on more than 6,500 routes using nearly 1,500 buses.

<sh>Brummett Tops

In Art Contest

<bt>Sarah Brummett, a sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, has been named first-place winner in the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) Regional Art Contest. Brummett was the first-place high-school winner in the VSBA northeastern regional contest, and received her award for a graphite drawing entitled, “Look Beyond Convention.”

The VSBA regional art contest was started in 1989 to promote the talents of Virginia’s public school students. Winners are chosen for the elementary-, middle-, and high-school levels in each of the nine VSBA regions. The art is on display in the VSBA offices in Charlottesville and in the offices of the Virginia Secretary of Education and State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

<sh>FCPS Events Calendar

<bt>Friday, June 6

Last day of schools for modified secondary calendar Fairfax County Public Schools.

Monday, June 9, 7 p.m.

School Board special meeting, challenged materials. Burkholder Center, 10700 Page Ave., Fairfax.

Wednesday, June 11, 7 p.m.

School Board, special meeting, student awards. Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church.

Thursday, June 12, 7:30 p.m.

School Board regular business meeting. Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church.

Tuesday, June 17-Friday, June 20

Standard-calendar schools graduations.

Thursday, June 19

Last day of school for modified elementary calendar Fairfax County Public Schools.

Friday, June 20

Last day of school for standard calendar Fairfax County Public Schools.