Pranav Chhalliyil’s parents shared a frustration many of us have, getting their son to brush his teeth! However, their method for inspiring better hygiene sparked more than just better oral health. Pranav explains, “a few years ago, when I was too lazy to brush my teeth in the morning, my dad had me spit into petri dishes just to see how much bacteria is in my mouth,” he said. “I was amazed to see the bacteria in my mouth, and then my interest grew in oral hygiene and its importance.”
Pranav’s new interest in oral bacteria and hygiene inspired him to research which oral cleaning methods are most effective, and to study these methods in an experiment with 88 subjects. Through his research Pranav learned that the most effective methods of oral hygiene are tooth brushing combined with tongue cleaning, and using two fingers to rub the teeth clean, followed by swishing water around in the mouth.
After further research into how these oral cleaning methods reduce periodontitis, Pranav completed his report and display, and entered them into the Iowa State Science Fair. All of the creativity and hard work paid off; Pranav won the grand champion award for the junior division!
This win was followed by a state merit win from the Young Scientist Challenge, http://www.youngscientistchallenge.com/state-merit-winners and inclusion among the 300 semifinalists in the Broadcom MASTERS national science competition, out of an initial 60,000 competitors.
These accolades are impressive, but Pranav didn’t feel he managed them all by himself, and remembered to thank everyone that helped him along the way, “I feel very happy and grateful to be named a state merit winner and a Broadcom MASTER semifinalist,” he said. “There are no words to express my gratitude to Genetic-ID, Ms. Barbara Hays and my parents.”
We at Maharishi School are very proud of your hard work, and creativity, Pranav. We can’t wait to see what you’ll investigate next!
Thanks to the Fairfield Ledger for the story “MSAE Student Named Iowa State Merit Winner”, from which we extracted quotes for this blog post.