News of the achievements of local students and members of the Armed Forces.
- O’Kelly McWilliams of Oakton has been named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at Wofford College.
- Einas Abu-El Hawa of Vienna has been initiated into the George Mason University chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi all-discipline collegiate honor society, while Nicole Cason of McLean and Kendall Treco of Great Falls have been initiated into the Elon University chapter.
- Local students picked up their share of awards at the 66th annual Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair, which showcased more than 200 high-school science projects via recorded videos.
Over 290 students presented their research projects in a wide variety of science and engineering fields. Projects were judged by more than 300 professionals and 50 professional organizations and businesses, with grand-prize and first-place winners eligible to compete in the upcoming Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair.
Grand-prize winners countywide were:
• Animal Sciences: Shan Lateef, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology, “What’s All the Buzz? Drosophila melanogaster as a Unique Model for Addiction Disorders after Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).”
• Biochemistry: Sagar Gupta and Sumanth Ratna, Thomas Jefferson, “Protein Secondary Structure Assignment (SSA) by Clustering Amino Acid Residues in the Space of Topological Descriptors,” and Gitali Bhanot and Sana Friedman, Oakton High School, “Managing Hyperlipidemia: Algae as Lipase Inhibitors.”
• Chemistry: Kaien Yang of Thomas Jefferson, “New Methods for Computing the Configurational Entropy of Deeply Supercooled Liquids with the Potential Energy Landscape,” and Kiara Fenn of Fairfax High School, “The Effect of the Mass of Sodium Bicarbonate on Endothermic Reactions.”
• Physics and Astronomy, Aditi Chandrashekar and Vance Kreider of Thomas Jefferson, “Modeling Coronal Faraday Rotation of Radiation from Extragalactic Radio Sources.”
• Systems Software: Pravalika Putalapattu of Thomas Jefferson, “DORC: Dynamic Operating Room Companion for Gallbladder Removal Surgery Workflow Verification.”
• Translational Medical Sciences: Thomas Chia of Chantilly High School, “A-EYE: Utilizing Multistage Neural Networks and Landmark Localization for Fundus Image Disease Detection,” and Ron Nachum of Thomas Jefferson, “PANDwriting: An Accessible Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Novel Diagnostic Framework Using Vision-Based Handwriting Kinematic Analysis and Machine Learning.”
Complete results from the 2021 Regional Science and Engineering Fair, including a complete list of winners, are available online at www.fcps.edu/node/33194.
- Original works of art and writing by students from Fairfax County Public Schools earned 27 national medals in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program.
First-place winners from the Sun Gazette coverage area included Sara Bowers of McLean High School; Thanisha Chowdhury of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology; Arin Kang of McLean High School; Michelle Lin (two awards) of Thomas Jefferson; Lyat Melese (also American Voices Medal) of Thomas Jefferson; Ellen Pan of McLean High School; and Alison Wan (two awards) of Thomas Jefferson.
The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, is the largest, longest-running recognition program of its kind in the United States.
Established in 1923, the awards have recognized students who have become some of our nation’s most celebrated artists and writers, including Richard Avedon, Robert Indiana, Steven King, and Andy Warhol.
Visual-arts categories include architecture, art portfolio, ceramics and glass, comic art, design, digital art, drawing, editorial cartoon, fashion, film and animation, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and video-game design. Writing categories include critical essay, dramatic script, flash fiction, journalism, humor, novel writing, personal essay and memoir, poetry, science fiction and fantasy, short story and writing portfolio.
More than 300,000 students participate in the program across the country annually. For information, see the Website at https://www.artandwriting.org.
- A total of 193 students from 15 Fairfax County Public Schools high schools were recognized as competitive-event winners at the Virginia DECA State Leadership Conference, advancing to international competition.
Thirty-five students were named firstplace winners, 28 students earned second-place awards, and 14 students place third in their events.
DECA is a career and technical student organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs to be college and career ready. In Virginia, DECA members are enrolled in a marketing education class at their high schools.
First-place winners from schools in the Sun Gazette coverage area include:
– From James Madison High School: Hannah Carmen, financial consulting; Emily O’Brien and Alina Williams, hospitality and tourism research.
– From McLean High School: Jackson Chadwick and Jay Shin, marketing management.
– From Oakton High School: Teresa Huang, business finance; Jake Janson, business growth plan; Suhith Kanneganti, business-services marketing; Savit Nair and Andrew Taylor, financial-services team decision-making; Ishika Lal and Dustin Tran, hospitality services team decision-making; Zarif Hasan, hotel and lodging management; Ally Silas, human-resource management; Zach Marshall, innovation; Kennedy Kabance and Alessia Ucci, international business; Leo Savitsky, job interview; Anjana Rajesh, professional selling; Michelle Kwak, retail merchandising; and Ryan Odell and Kiara Riley, travel and tourism marketing team.
- The drama club at BASIS Independent McLean (BIM) will premiere a sold-out, drive-through play on April 9-10.
Audience members will view the performance from their cars as they drive from scene to scene in the parking lot.
The school has been open on campus in a “hybrid” model since August 2020 with the Centers for Disease Control recommended health and safety guidelines in place. One safety precaution is that only staff and students are allowed in the building, which prevented the after-school club from a typical performance.
“Although I knew our theater wouldn’t be open to families because of COVID restrictions, I wanted our amazing drama students to have the experience of performing live in front of their family and friends,” says Laura Butchy, drama teacher and drama club adviser. “After seeing a drive-through play at the McLean Community Center, I knew it was ideal for our drama club. This format allows them to perform to live audiences and use their improv skills.”
BASIS Independent McLean commissioned “Midsummer Mystery from playwright Monica Flory,” who wrote the show to be performed by students in grades 4-12. She collaborated with Butchy to keep both performers and audience members socially-distanced and wearing masks.
“Midsummer Mystery” follows a community theater’s matinee of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” that loses its magic when a wealthy donor’s car becomes drama central, and the potent potions within it fly away. Can a clever stage manager connect the clues in time to call the cues for the evening show? This theater’s future depends on it.