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Pranav Chhalliyil Wins Third Prize for Microbiology at INTEL International Science Fair

Pranav Chhalliyil won third place in the microbiology category at the INTEL International Science Fair for 2017.  Pranav is a sophomore at Maharishi School, a private day and boarding college preparatory school in the Midwest.  Located in Fairfield, Iowa, Maharishi School is one of the top private college preparatory schools in Iowa.

Maharishi School sophomore Pranav Chhaliyil had the rare honor of presenting his dental research at the Iowa Dental Association 2017 Annual Session in Cedar Rapids on May 6th.  The IDA is the largest association of oral health profession in the State of Iowa. "Pranav, can you imagine?", remarked Dr. Cynthia Phillips, Southeast District Trustee, " This is the first time in the history of the IDA that we've invited a high school student to our meeting!"  Dr. Phillips heard about Pranav through his research partner Dan Smith at Genetic ID, and decided Pranav must share his research at the IDA event.

"I am thankful to Dr. Philips for the strong support", Pranav explained, "She made sure that doctors came to see my display to help them motivate students to do dental research".  One of the attendees, Dr. Dereck Peek gave Pranav advice for future research.  "Remember to consider testing your GIFTS method with the mentally handicapped and the elderly", he suggested.  Dr.  Peek was also curious as to whether Pranav's nano-charcoal could be used in root canals as an irrigant.  "Keep up all the hard work and never stop asking questions!”, Dr. Peek concluded.

After this inspiring experience, Pranav attended the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) for the fourth consectutive year.  The four day event, organized by Society for Science & the Public (SSP), is the world’s largest international, pre-college science competition.  This year the fair took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) from Monday, May 15th 2017 to Thursday, May 18th.

Over 1,800 high school students from more than 78 countries, regions, and territories were awarded the opportunity to showcase their independent research and compete for four million dollars in prizes.  The participants were chosen from among millions of students worldwide who enter local and school-sponsored science fairs.  Intel ISEF unites these top young scientific minds, showcasing their talents on an international stage, where doctoral level scientists review and judge their work.
The SSP partners with Intel, along with dozens of other corporate, academic, government, and science-focused sponsors to provide support and awards for Intel ISEF.

This was Pranav's fourth consecutive year attending the Intel Science Fair. In seventh and eighth grades he won all expense paid trips to observe the fair after winning the State Championship, and this year and last he attended to compete.  This year we are happy to report that Pranav Pranav Chhaliyil enjoys meeting INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair participants from Pakistan and India.  Pranav attends Maharishi School, a private, college preparatory boarding school in the Midwest.  Maharishi School is located in Fairfield, Iowa.won third place in his category, microbiology!  Pranav considers being in the competition itself a great honor, and winning third place among the other national champions from around the world a greater honor still.  In addition to the excitement of the fair, Pranav made great connections.

Pranav recalls, "It was really nice making friends with Team Pakistan who were really nice and gave me many gifts. I received two beautiful traditional Pakistani shawls as a token of friendship. Even though there is a country to country conflict between India and Pakistan, that didn't keep us from being friends. I also met Team India who really liked how Vedic our town is. They were surprised that we meditate twice a day in school. They wished they could do that in their schools!"

Pranav donated all his cash awards to an educational welfare fund in India that he volunteers for every summer, and looks forward to continuing his research into the dental microbiome and sharing his findings next year!

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