School News

A Letter From Our School Head, Dr. Richard Beall

Dear Maharishi School Community,

We did it again!

Last week Maharishi School students added to our legacy of excellence and achievement in extracurricular activities with state championships in science and Destination Imagination (creative problem-solving).

The Iowa Biotechnology Association named Pranav Chhalliyil, a sophomore at Maharishi School, the winner of the 2017 Iowa BioGENEius Challenge at the 60th Iowa State Science and Technology Fair. He was selected from the top five high school projects and will represent Iowa at the BioGENEius Challenge in San Diego.

Pranav was also awarded as an Honorary Mention Grand champion and, for the 4th consecutive year, earned an all-expenses-paid trip to the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair. This year the event is in Los Angeles, where Pranav will compete with over 1800 students from 75 countries. Last year Pranav won 4th place in the microbiology category.

As I watched the awards ceremony at the Hilton Coliseum on Thursday night in Ames, it was evident that Pranav had also won hearts at the annual science competition. His friendliness and encouragement of other students created bonds of respect. When his name was announced as winner of the Microbiology category, cheers erupted from all over the crowd as his fellow competitors expressed their support. Later, in naming the winner of the Iowa BioGENEius Challenge, the announcer said, “The award goes to a student that needs no last name here: Pranav, from Maharishi School!” And more cheers enveloped him.

Our Destination Imagination teams also excelled, with six teams winning 1st place in their DI Challenge category and earning invitations to the Global Finals in Knoxville, Tennessee, where they will compete with over 8000 students from 30 nations.

Their performances demonstrated months of preparation and seamless teamwork, especially in the improvisational category. At the annual dinner the night before, the seniors expressed their love of this program and its director, Mark Wilkins, and of their teammates—who they repeatedly mentioned as “family.”

I was struck by how these students embodied our core values. In their interactions with peers and adults, in their determination and creativity, in their appreciation of others—all of these qualities were naturally expressed: Respect, Responsibility, Solutions, Service, and Transcending. Their quality of life was every bit as impressive as their winnings.

You can support the DI teams’ trip to Global Finals by visiting their annual yard sale on May 6 and attending the DI Showcase on May 20.


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