Vardhan places first at state science fair

Andrew Lim, Staff Writer

Senior Sangamithra Vardhan earned first place in the senior Medicine & Health division at the Florida State Science Fair held in Lakeland from March 26-28. Seventh-grader Mohammed A. also won first in the junior Math division.

“I was shocked when I won. I didn’t think I would win first since I’d always gotten third place,” Vardhan said. “But I realized it was real and slowly started believing it.”

Twelve West Shore students competed in the fair and 10 placed. In the senior division, second-place winners in each category included freshman Margarita Cruz-Sanchez (Environmental) and seniors Michelle Chin (Plant Science) and Rashad Abdulla (Math). Eighth-grader River G. (Animal Science) won second place in the junior Animal Science division. Eighth-grader Roba S. won third place in the junior Microbiology division. Senior Varun Bansal and freshman Srimayi Tenali each won a fourth place award in the senior Physics and Chemistry categories respectively. Senior Aalekhya Tenali received an Honorable Mention in the senior Microbiology division.

“The kids all did really well, as I expected, because they all had good projects,” science research teacher Mary Anderson said. “They all actually were really excited to give up some of their Spring Break for the fair, seriously.”

In addition, Vardhan won a bid to International Science and Engineering Fair that will be held in Phoenix the week of May 5-12. Out of eight students who will be representing Brevard County at ISEF, four are from West Shore: seniors Abdulla, Bansal,  Chin and Vardhan.

“It is so hard to place at ISEF so I’m not expecting much, but hopefully, I’ll get at least fourth place,” Vardhan said. “But I know it is going to be a lot of fun.”

Editor’s note: Brevard Public Schools policy prohibits the inclusion of middle-schoolers’ last names on district websites.