WUFT News

Gainesville Middle School Student’s Ingenuity Gets State’s Attention

By on October 3rd, 2013
Balachandar presenting her project at Broadcom.

Courtesy of Broadcom Masters and the Balachandar Family

Balachandar presenting her project at Broadcom.

Abraham Lincoln Middle School student Sidhika Balachandar won second place in the engineering category of the Broadcom Masters National Science competition.

Balachandar’s seventh grade science project, “Can You Keep It Down,” placed first in its division at the Alachua County Regional Science and Engineering Fair and second in the state competition.

Her project, which compared soundproofing and aesthetic qualities of various materials, had a unique yet practical inspiration.

“I play the flute and so whenever I do these activities my mom gets disturbed, so I wanted to know if I could soundproof my room so it could help her while she’s working,” Balachandar said.

Balachandar tested materials such as roofing tile and tapestry by placing speakers in a box and measuring the amount of sound that was absorbed.

Balachandar beat 6,000 students to become a finalist in the Broadcom Masters National Science competition. The competition highlights middle school students’ projects and problem-solving skills.

Balachandar’s success qualified her for an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete with other finalists for more than $60,000 worth of prizes in science, technology, engineering and math categories.

Her prizes for second place were a $2,500 scholarship and an iPad. She plans to use the scholarship to attend science camp.

Balachandar said her love for science was partially inspired by her parents. Her mother is a computer scientist and her father is a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Florida. 

“My parents and my friends have been really supportive each step of the way and I’m really thankful for them to be there,” Balachandar said. “I’m excited because I feel a lot more women are getting into the STEM fields, and if I do that, then I can help encourage more women to do that as well.”

Fueled by her goal to inspire, Balachandar is already planning for the future. She is enrolled in Lincoln’s advanced LYCEUM program and is taking a high school chemistry course.

River Grace of Melbourne, Fla. won first place overall and a $25,000 scholarship for his study on endangered tortoises.


This entry was posted in Education and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Education

Waiting for author to email caption w/ names

Eastside High School Culinary Team Wins Sixth Place In National Competition

Students of Eastside High School’s Institute of Culinary Arts competed in the National Prostart Invitational in Anaheim, California, hosted by the National Restaurant Association. The team came in sixth place.


**Tenley was emailed to verify that she made this. Credit it accordingly once she responds.**

Two Years After Grant Ends, Alachua County Schools See Little Improvement

Alachua County schools received a $2 million grant five years ago. Three of the schools that benefited greatly from the money haven’t seen much improvement in their school grades.


Students at Stephen Foster Elementary School learn the basics of nutrition education from retired University of Florida dietetics professor Dr. Pam McMahon. Kids in the Kitchen is a county wide program sponsored by the Department of Children and Families, UF and the USDA. Photo courtesy of Bailey Bruce / Foster Elementary Afterschool Coordinator.

New Program Hopes To Bring Nutritional Education To Elementary Schools

Stephen Foster Elementary School is the first elementary school to participate in Kids in the Kitchen, a program that teaches students about nutritional food options and food preparation. The program was started by Pamela McMahon, Ph.D., a retired University of Florida faculty member and registered dietician.


Screen Shot

UF Students Welcome Bill Proposing Tax-Free Textbooks

A new law in Florida could help students save money on expensive textbooks. The bill looks to eliminate the sales tax from textbooks to give students a break on the hundreds they already spend on required texts.


Students at Sante Fe College have opportunities to seek baccalaureate degrees in many areas of study. Santa Fe is one of 28 state colleges in Florida, which offer a combined 175 baccalaureate degree programs.

Four-Year Degree Limitation Proposed By State Senator Sparks Debate

Senator Joe Negron proposed to limit baccalaureate programs in Florida community colleges in a recent Senate Higher Education Committee. Santa Fe provost Ed Bonahue argues that the attention should be placed on enrollment, not the programs.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments