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Science students advance to national semifinals

September 05, 2001

Alecia Foster

LA CRESCENTA -- Lara Injeyan found the envelope shortly after

returning from her family vacation.

"Very nervously I opened [it] up," she said. "The first letter I

pulled out said 'Congratulations.' "

That also was the first word schoolmate Shant Krikorian saw after

receiving a similar letter.

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The letter the two Chamlian Armenian School students received was

official word that they had made it to the national semifinals of the

Discovery Young Scientists Challenge.

While Chamlian students have often fared well at the county and state

competitions, this marked the first time students had advanced to the

national level.

The students will have to wait until Sept. 10 to find out if they made

it to the finals.

Both said this level of the science competition has been a little more

stressful than the county and state levels, Krikorian said.

"It's worse because it's the best of the best," he said.

Krikorian, now a ninth-grader at the school, took first in physics and

astronomy at the county competition and second place at the state

competition.

As the two advanced to different levels, they also have had to redo

their poster boards, adding more pictures and information, Injeyan said.

"You also have more information to present in your interview," she

said, adding the number of interviews with judges also increased at the

higher levels.

Injeyan, now an eighth-grader at the school, took first place in

engineering at the county competition this year for a second time. She

took second place at the state level.

Proud parents Nora Injeyan and Angel Krikorian were the students'

support mechanisms throughout the competitions.

"We always try to calm them down and encourage them," Krikorian said.

The two said their children put much effort into their projects: Lara

with her "Crosstalk in Wavelength Division Multiplexed Optical Fibers"

and Krikorian's "Finding Planks Constant using the Photoelectric Effect."

"It's really involved a lot of work," Nora Injeyan said. "A lot of

weekends were given up for this."

The students were among 400 students from throughout the country

chosen as semifinalists. Of those, 40 will be chosen to compete in the

finals in Washington D.C. on Oct. 20.

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