Indian American girl named the state merit winner for Illinois

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Pratiksha Bhattacharyya

DES PLAINES, Illinois – Pratiksha Bhattacharyya, a seventh grade student at Chippewa Middle School of Des Plaines School District 62, has been named the state merit winner for Illinois in the landmark 10th annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge is the nation’s premier science competition for students in grades 5-8.

Bhattacharyya was chosen as one of only 35 state merit winners nationwide for developing an innovative solution to an everyday problem that could ultimately improve and reshape the way we live our lives.

At the beginning of each year, students throughout the country are asked to create a short video describing a new innovation or solution that could solve an everyday problem and improve the lives of many.

Bhattacharyya was chosen for her science acumen, innovative thinking and exceptional communication skills which were all demonstrated in her entry video.

She has been recognized for her project on Controlling Type 2 Diabetes through exercise, diet and lifestyle and will receive a special recognition on the challenge website at www.youngscientistlab.com/challenge along with a technology prize pack.

Ten overall national finalists have also been selected to advance to the next round, and will participate in a final competition at the 3M Innovation Center in October.

Since its initiation in 2008, the Young Scientist Challenge has accomplished and helped students with many tasks such as: awarding hundreds of thousands of dollars in student scholarships and prizes; pairing students with world-renowned scientists to give them real-world insights and delivering much-needed science resources to millions of students, teachers and families across the country.

It targets students in the years when research indicates their interest in science begins to wane and encourages them to explore scientific concepts and creatively communicate their findings.

Winners have gone on to be featured in Forbes magazine’s annual “30 Under 30” list, speak in front of members of Congress and attendees at the United Nations, meet the President of the United States, and demonstrate inventions on national news programs such as ABC World News Tonight, Fox & Friends, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Other state merit winners include Adheesh Ankolekar from New York; Srihita Adabala from Tennessee; Perisa Ashar from Virginia; Arjun Gupta from Arizona; Ujjayi Pamidigantam from New Jersey; Udbhav Raghukanth from Ohio; Rishabh Sharma from Oregon; Priya Shokeen from New Hampshire; Darius Sinha from Massachusetts and Shomik Telang from Pennsylvania.

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