By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Four Shrewsbury High School (SHS) students were recognized for their recent achievements in science by the Shrewsbury School Committee May 15 at Town Hall.
Garima Prabhakar, SHS sophomore, was the first to be recognized. She was supported by David Hruskoci, SHS director of science and engineering. She recently competed in the State Science and Engineering Fair for high school students held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) May 3 and 4. She received a first-place award for her project “Increasing Exoplanetary Detection Accuracy Using Orbital Parameter Relations.”
“There were about 240 projects that were presented in the state fair; Garima was one of 17 first-place awards,” Hruskoci noted.
After thanking the School Committee for their acknowledgement and her teachers and mentors for their guidance, Garima explained her project. It began with a problem about exoplanets with a goal of making an algorithm to make them easier and more efficient to detect.
The SHS Science Team, Armita Padam, Sankalp Katnula and Michelle Kim, were the next to be recognized. They were accompanied by Zachary Tashjian, science teacher and Science Olympiad advisor.
On March 23, the team competed in the Massachusetts Science Olympiad at Framingham State University. Twenty students participated in events such as design and prototyping, technical writing and chemistry lab skills. The team received a first-place award in the Mystery Architecture event.
“I’m the advisor for this club and what’s great about it is it is all student-run, so I really don’t have to do much,” remarked Tashjian.
Team Captain Armita managed the Olympiad and the other club’s competitions. She explained that the state-wide competition consisted of 25 events that included lab and testing events in many scientific disciplines.
Sankalp explained that they were given a challenge to complete during the Mystery Architecture event where they had 30 minutes to build the tallest structure that would support a golf ball for three seconds using straws, cups, string and paper.
Michelle added that they didn’t really have much preparation for this event other than practicing building with paper at their team meetings beforehand.
“Congratulations, this is so impressive. You are doing this above and beyond your regular academic work and I think that it is gratifying for us to have these presentations, so thank you,” said School Committee Chair Sandy Fryc.
Each of the students received certificates from School Superintendent Dr. Joseph Sawyer and the School Committee.