Senior Pranav Chhalliyil Attending World’s Largest International Pre-College Science Competition

On May 12th – 17th the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), a program of the Society for Science & the Public, and the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, will be held in Phoenix, Arizona.

Maharishi School Senior Pranav Chhalliyil will be attending Intel ISEF for his fifth consecutive year. Pranav was also recently named Honorary Grand Champion at the State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa, and received an award for 6 years of participation. A total of 5 students are representing the State of Iowa as finalists at Intel ISEF.

Pranav’s project is titled:  “DNA Sequencing of Soil Microbiota From Mulching – A Novel Rotational Fragment Farming for Efficient Agriculture”

“The idea for this project came from my previous research experience on the oral microbiota,” Pranav said,  “which triggered a curiosity on the soil microbiota when I had interesting observations while gardening. I found a higher yield of flowers and vegetables, as well as a higher tolerance to winter frost in perennials after introducing mulching in my home garden.”His project uses DNA sequencing to look at the thousands of bacteria and fungi species which brought diversity in the soil and increased soil fertility.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) unites the top young scientific minds, showcasing their talents on an international stage, where doctoral-level scientists review and judge their work.

Each year, approximately 1,800 high school students from more than 75 countries, regions, and territories are awarded the opportunity to showcase their independent research and compete for on average $5 million in prizes at Intel ISEF. The competition focuses on identifying, inspiring, and engaging the world’s next STEM generation.

Millions of students in grades 9-12 worldwide compete each year in local and school-sponsored science fairs. The winners of these events go on to participate in 420 Society-affiliated regional and state fairs, from which the top projects are selected and receive opportunity to attend Intel ISEF. Each affiliated fair may send a pre-determined number of projects to Intel ISEF to compete in 22 different categories.

Intel ISEF alumni have gone on to receive some of the world’s most esteemed academic honors, including the Nobel Prize, Breakthrough Prize, three National Medals of Science, and six MacArthur Foundation Fellowships and have been involved in some of the most groundbreaking scientific research.

Congratulations to Pranav and we wish him the best of luck!

To learn more about what makes Maharishi School students like Pranav so successful click here.

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Culture Project

Culture Project

This week in the classroom…

Our 5th and 6th graders presented their Culture Projects this week. Each student or team chose a country and researched the religious and cultural traditions.

Russia, The Philippines, and Costa Rica

Countries researched included Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, The Phillipines, Switzerland, Russia, Egypt, Argentina and many more!

Adrien Daller and Eli Lieb Give Maharishi School Assembly

Two dazzling alumni visited the school to share their vocation ventures and give us guidance. The first speaker was Adrien Daller. Adrien calls herself a speech nerd who was always shushing people when they interrupted the teacher. She is grateful for the School’s theatre program because that was where she understood that she wanted to perform. She went out with certainty and met change. Adrien says, “The moral of my story is that sometimes on the way to your dreams, you find better ones.”

She went overseas to study acting in England and sang “God Save the Queen” to Queen Elizabeth. From there she ended up singing and performing in Italy. She says that it was a great experience doing “what I said I wanted, but I wasn’t happy.” Something was missing.

Back in Fairfield she reconnected with friends and family and realized that she needed to do something else. She started writing her own music, and was in, and helped to start, several bands. The album The Endless Prom came out of that. She says, “I’m doing what I love, even though it’s not what I expect. I’m making music with people who inspire me, and being close to people I love.”

Her advice to the students is, “Keep trying things; it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes, just keep trying.” She also says, “Keep an open mind to what dream you might have. Work really hard on what you love, and see what happens.”

Her link is:

Eli Lieb started writing music when he was 16. His youthful experience was charmed—he says that he didn’t overthink things but just dove in. He went to New York to advance his career and sang in endless Open Mics. He remembers once when his turn to sing came at 3 am. “Use your energy for what you want without stopping,” he says. “ Look at every experience as a tool to find out who you are and what you want. There is no bad experience.”

Success came with an agent and a contract. This seemed ideal. He loved the city that never sleeps; however, he found himself bowing to power and giving up his voice. Returning to Fairfield was his time to re-tune. “The second I committed to being happy and moved back to Fairfield, that’s when my career took off.” When he exchanged cards with a dog-walking companion, he saw the job description “Sony Records.” Support of Nature. Eli’s underwater song on YouTube (shot by fellow graduate Geoff Boothby) has had 5.5 million hits. He calls this his calling card.

His advice is, “Be happy; do what makes you happy. Be yourself. The more authentic you are, the more people respond to you. You can’t please everyone; if you try to do that you lose yourself.” Eli says he would not have this mindset without TM and the Fairfield community. “People like that part of you. What you have is a unique tool for achieving happiness.” Regarding his knowledge of Sanskrit he says, “When you tell people that you understand Sanskrit they will think it’s amazing.”

His link is: