Ari Dyckovsky, 17, works on quantum physics experiments in the Physical Measurement Lab at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2012. Dyckovsky, who went to the Loudoun Academy of Science in Sterling, Va., was a 2012 finalist in the Intel Science Talent search. (Katherine Frey/THE WASHINGTON POST)

Three Washington area students were tapped Wednesday as Intel Science Talent Search finalists, recognized among a group of 40 honored nationwide in the prestigious research competition for high school seniors.

Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Md., again produced one of the national finalists: Michael Winer, whose project was “Interactions of Electrons and Phonons in a Crystal.”

Blair has accumulated more Intel finalists than any other school in the country since 1999 — when it reached its high point of six finalists — with a total of 32 in that period. It ranks third nationally for finalists since the competition began in 1942, organizers said.

Montgomery County’s second finalist comes from Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville: Yizhen Zhang, whose project was “Wiring for ‘Blue’ Connectome of the S-Cone Photoreceptor in the Outer Retina.”

Fairfax County’s Anya Michaelsen, of Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Va., was a finalist too. Her project was “Kinematic Determinants of Scoring Success in the Fencing Flick: Logistic and Linear Multiple Regression Analysis.”

The science competition, a program of Society for Science & the Public, included finalists from 36 schools in 18 states; slightly more than half were male.

The 40 finalists were selected from 300 semifinalists. In all, more than 1,800 students entered the competition, which considers the originality and creativity of scientific research, as well as student achievement and leadership.

Organizers said there is no grand prize of $100,000 this year, but instead three medals of distinction that each come with $150,000 and will be awarded for exceptional scientific potential in three categories: basic research, global good and innovation.

The finalists get an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington in March. In all, more than $1 million in prizes are to be awarded, including three second-place awards of $75,000 each and three third-place awards of $35,000 each.

Winners are expected to be announced at a gala scheduled for March 10 at the National Building Museum.

Since 1942, when the competition started, the schools with the most finalists have been the Bronx High School of Science, with 136; Stuyvesant High School in New York, with 81; and Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, with 44.

For a list of this year’s finalists, click here.