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Regeneron Science Talent Search

Regeneron Science Talent Search

Pranav Chhaliyil named as Regeneron Science Talent Search scholar and Ms. Barbara Hays, the Teacher of Merit.

On January 9, the Society for Science & the Public named the top scholars of the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition. The Regeneron Science Talent Search, a program of the Society for Science & the Public, recognizes and empowers the most promising young scientists in the U.S. who are creating the ideas and solutions that solve our most urgent challenges. The Society for Science & the Public and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals have announced Pranav Chhaliyil as one of the 300 high school seniors named as Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars. Pranav is a senior at the Maharishi School, Fairfield, Iowa to receive this great honor. His mentor and teacher Ms. Barbara Hays also was nominated as the “Teacher of Merit” by Regeneron.

The selection as scholar is a great honor, and signifies talent and promise in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These scholars join a distinguished group of alumni that includes Nobel Prize winners, MacArthur Fellows, entrepreneurs and innovators who, were named among the top 300 competitors in this program as seniors in high school.

Regeneron Science Talent Search scholarEach scholar, selected from 1,964 entrants, receives a $2,000 award with an additional $2,000 going to his or her respective school, resulting in $1.2 million in total scholar awards from Regeneron.

The scholars, who hail from 184 American and international high schools from 38 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and two countries abroad, were selected from an applicant pool of nearly 2,000 students. Each of the 300 scholars and their schools will be awarded $2,000.

Pranav’s Findings

Pranav from his 7th grade had been involved in scientific research on oral microbiome. Last year he conducted research on the effect of sugar causing dental damage and was curious to know if white sugar or unprocessed brown-sugar made any difference. To his surprise, he found that eating unrefined sugar is good for preventing systemic diseases like eating unrefined starches like whole grains. The balance of good and bad bacteria of the oral microbiome was significantly disturbed with white sugar. However while eating unrefined sugar, which is rich in polyphenols, prevented biofilm formation in the tooth.

“I actually invented a new mouthwash that’s rich in polyphenols and it includes my previously developed Nano charcoal. Middle school children volunteered to be his subjects for the research involving DNA sequencing of oral microbiota. The subjects who ate porridge that contained the white sugar got protection from the early colonizers by using the mouthwash.” He plans to commercialize the product as a healthier alternative, Pranav explained.

We Are All Proud

“We’re very proud of him, he set a great example to other students because he is not only highly achieved, but we see the support that he gives to his peers here at the school as well. He has kept his feet on the ground. So, just deep pride,” said Dr. Richard Beall, Maharishi School Principal.

Pranav has some words of advice for students. “Never belittle your small ideas that popup in your brain. If you think how it will help others, it will magically self-develop and will impact the lives of many people more than you can think of. “I always believe that in order for you to succeed, it’s important for you to also give back,” said Pranav.

 

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

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Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
hnichols@msae.edu
Fairfield, IA 52556

Dr. Beall Addresses Cold Weather Concerns

Dear Maharishi School Community,

How cold is it?

I’ll spare you the lame jokes. But the prediction for temperatures next Tuesday-Thursday is no laughing matter. If it holds true, they will be the coldest consecutive days in my 30+ years as a school administrator.

The question is, what will we do about it? Will there be school those days if the windchill is far below zero?

Of course, schools all over Iowa will be faced with the same decision. I’ve been in contact with the superintendents of nearby school districts and other independent schools in the Midwest. Their policies vary widely, from a fixed policy of a windchill temperature of -18 to nearly -40 degrees for delaying or canceling school…to flexible policies depending on specific conditions that day.

Like them, our Maharishi School administrative team is up early checking conditions on inclement weather days. Twice last week Terry Weiss was on the roads at 4:30 am. By 6 am we are checking all the weather sources (weather.govweather.comaccuweather.com), texting or calling each other, and consulting with other schools’ decisions.

Public schools have bus routes to consider, with students standing outside waiting for pick-up. Maharishi School is different. Most of you live in or near Fairfield. We do have some families several miles outside of town, but they are driving in, not waiting for a bus.

When the situation is purely cold and wind, we consult the accuweather.com “RealFeel” wind chill ratings. You can compare these to the National Weather Service Wind Chill Chart: https://www.weather.gov/safety/cold-wind-chill-chart.

The danger is exposed skin for prolonged periods of time. Most of our students, faculty, and staff have a relatively short exposure–walking from their cars to the buildings. That should be possible for short times, less than 10 minutes in severe cold. But we always strongly recommend wearing protective clothing: warm hats, gloves, boots, and even face coverings.

It’s hard–maybe impossible–to make a decision that is right for everyone. Parents told us this week what a hardship it was to have school delayed or canceled, forcing them to cancel appointments with clients, and jeopardizing their business. Others want school delayed or closed whenever the temperature approaches those low levels. We hear you all, and we are doing our best.

As the Iowa City Community School District states, “The District must make one decision that is appropriate for [all] students. We recognize that this decision may not always fit with individual circumstances. Therefore, we support parents/guardians making the best decision for their family. Parents/guardians may choose to keep their children at home if they are concerned about their child’s safety due to weather conditions. In this event, they must notify the school and the absence will be recorded as excused.”

Maharishi School holds to that same policy. Safety first, as decided by your family. But we hope to stay open as much as possible. We built two extra days into our schedule. Those have already occurred. Any additional full days closed will require make-up days later in the year.

So these are the factors that go into our decision making. We’ve decided on a hybrid for this year:

* The Children’s House will close when wind chills are expected to reach -20. This will be confirmed shortly after 6:00 am.

* The rest of the School will consider the overall conditions and announce the decision shortly after 6 am.

Please check your preferred source for our school status (our website, emails, Facebook, exploreseiowa.com, or KMCD radio). Please ensure that your child has adequate winter clothing. And please know that we are doing our best to find the right decision for our entire school community.

Sincerely,

Dr. Beall and Maharishi School Administration

 

 

To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.

To learn more about school events and student life, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Hannah Nichols
Marketing and PR
Maharishi School
hnichols@msae.edu
Fairfield, IA 52556