Town Square

Palo Alto teen places tenth in national science contest

Original post made on Mar 13, 2013

A Palo Alto teenager has placed tenth in a national math and science competition, taking home $20,000 in the 2013 Intel Science Talent Search.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 9:18 AM


Posted by parent, a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 13, 2013 at 9:31 am

Wow! Congratulations!

Posted by Jared Bernstein, a resident of Professorville
on Mar 13, 2013 at 10:59 am

Sounds like a front page story.

Posted by Becky Sanders, a resident of Ventura
on Mar 13, 2013 at 11:17 am

Hi there Chris Thank you for bringing us another great story. Very inspiring. Do you think Sahana and her mentors would like to come to the Media Center to do a 1/2 hour show about her work and maybe even show us some of her calculations. You could host! I'd produce. Fun stuff!

Posted by Chrisc, a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 13, 2013 at 11:52 am

Becky, great idea. You could contact Paly to get the offer to her. What channel would it air?

Posted by Congrats!, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 13, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Congratulations, Sahana!

Your eagerness and great attitude will take you very far.

What an inspiration to us all!

Posted by Jeffrey J, a resident of University South
on Mar 13, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Congratulations, Sahana!

Posted by wuuu-t, a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 13, 2013 at 3:44 pm

The last "teen" to place in a science test had exactly the same "research" which was the Dads research at Stanford.

All these prizes have been devalued by the gaming by parents desparate to push their kids forward.

In a world where billions upon billions push, the normal prizes are devalued for those kids who really think something up themselves.

So any prize winner is devalued by these cheaters. So I hope if this kid did it herself she will discourage the cheaters.

Posted by Terry, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 13, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Congratulations, Sahana! +1
Nice to see some refreshing news here.

Posted by Private School Teacher, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2013 at 11:16 pm

@Wuuuut, I'm not so sure you know what you're talking about.

Posted by local mom, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2013 at 2:16 pm

It's easy to see why you think that, I assumed the same when I saw my first science fair -- but you really misunderstand the nature of these projects today. These days, students have the opportunity to work with and under the direction of adults with unique abilities and assets, at research centers or universities with resources they never had in the past, and not just in Silicon Valley. That is no longer discouraged, in fact, it's encouraged that students take advantage of opportunities around them to learn and do more challenging work. For the sake of a competition, they just have to describe the help they got, have official permission to use the resources at whatever company, university or research lab they use, and describe if their work is an extension of someone else's ongoing work or a unique stand-alone project. Judges interview the kids, they can tell if a kid really learned something or not.

This goes even for the younger students like in middle school. There's no point in restricting kids to a stale world of projects already done when they can do real work in the real world, using tools their parents couldn't even have dreamed of. Yes, that does mean kids whose dads have research projects at Stanford could piggyback on that work, but so often could other kids if they asked. Many of the teachers in the area know how to connect very motivated kids to such resources, too, as it sounds may have been the case here.

This young woman is obviously brilliant and highly motivated. Congratulations, Sahana!

Posted by Mom, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 15, 2013 at 2:27 pm

She sounds amazing. How sad that Paly would not work with her math class schedule and that she is no longer a Paly is a loss for other students that she is not in their classes.

Posted by local mom, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2013 at 3:16 pm

I know other students enrolled in Stanford high school online who decided to home school. We are thinking of doing that, too.

Posted by Raman, a resident of another community
on Mar 16, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Dear Sahana

I am very happy to see this. I know that you will have an awrd when Jayaraman told me that you will be going to DC for the final phase. Please continue this Extradinory work.