Students place competitively at state fair


Close to 300 students journeyed down to the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington on April 5 to set up for the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair (VSSEF). There were 29 Jefferson students at the fair, representing the school  in a variety of categories ranging from Animal Sciences to Physics and Astronomy.

Jefferson students garnered many category awards as well as special awards from various organizations present at the fair.

Seniors Sarthak Sahu, Nipun Singh, Nathan Kodama, Alec Brenner, Thrisha Potluri, Arya Dahal, Lauren Huang, Avinash Ramesh, Caroline Kerr and Kirsten Cardinal, juniors Andrea Li, Manotri Chaubal, Archis Bhandarkar, Rohan Banerjee, Daniel Abraham, Julie Kim and Jennie Kim, sophomore Saroja Erabelli and freshman Valentina Lohr all placed in the top three in their respective categories. Some of these students won additional organizational awards.

This year, all three Grand Prize winners from VSSEF went to Jefferson students. Team partners Bhandarkar and Banerjee won the third place Grand Prize for their project in Mathematical Science, while Chaubal won the second place Grand Prize for her project in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Li won the first place Grand Prize as well as the Governor’s Award for her project in Biochemistry.

These four students will travel to Pheonix, Az. for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), which will be held on May 12-17.

“Going into the fair, I wasn’t expecting anything. I was just so honored to be there,” Chaubal said. “Winning the second place grand prize was such a surreal experience and something that was just an added bonus to an already great day.”