On March 7, some of Harker’s middle school and upper school students competed in the Synopsys Championship, a regional competition that showcases achievements in math and science. Harker has been competing in the Synopsys Championship for years in both the junior (grades 6-8) and senior (grades 9-12) categories. The competition draws hundreds of students from all types of schools, and awards and prizes are given in many areas.
In the competition, students work both independently and in teams to answer questions in many areas, including computer science, environmental science, medicine and health, chemistry and biology.
Chris Spenner, an upper school physics and science teacher, said that, “Harker students arrive at Synopsys along a variety of avenues: the research class, the Open Lab program, the Harker-arranged summer internships, and direct mentorship by Harker faculty. A few students pursue research independently of Harker programs.” To qualify, “students completed an application form which was reviewed for procedural safety, ethics and minimum quality standards by Synopsys volunteers. The fair is open to all projects in the sciences and engineering,” Spenner said.
The middle school students performed admirably at the fair. Anika Mohindra, grade 8, won the second award in the botany category, while Sneha Bhetanabhotla, grade 7, took home the first award in the physics category as well as second place for grades 6-8 for the Vacuum Coaters Society. Kristin Ko, grade 8, won the second place award for grades 6-8 for the American Society of Civil Engineers. Rishabh Chandra, grade 8, and Jonathan Ma, grade 8, took first award for the physics category, for their joint project. Both Avi Khemani, grade 7, and Manan Shah, also grade 7, brought home an honorable mention for the environmental sciences category for their project. Michael Zhao, grade 8, took the second award for his project in biochemistry/microbiology. Finally for the middle school, Venkat Sankar, grade 7, took home the first award in the botany category.
The upper school students also performed very well, with 27 students earning awards. Sriram Somosundaram, grade 9, took the first award for the biochemistry/microbiology category, as well as winning first place for the Inez M. Lechner award. Prag Batra, grade 12, took home an honorable mention in the med-immune category as well as a grade 12 individual project award. Stephanie Chen and Kristine Lin took home the second award in the chemistry category for their joint project, while Paulomi Bhattacharya and Eesha Khare, both grade 11, took home awards for outstanding sustainability as well as an honorable mention in the chemistry category for their project. Vikas Bhetanabhotla, grade 10, took home the first award in the physics category. Lucy Cheng, grade 12, took home the first award in the Earth/space sciences category, while Emily Chu, grade 11, and Payal Modi, also grade 11, took home the second award in the environmental sciences category. Another successful joint project was developed by Christopher Fu and Matthew Huang, grade 10 and grade 9 respectively, and it took home an honorable mention award in the physics category. Anika Gupta, grade 10, won the first award in the environmental sciences category. Another upper school student, Rishabh Jain, grade 9, received a second award in the computers/mathematics category. Saachi Jain, grade 10, also took home an award – the first award in the chemistry category.
Revanth Kosaraju, grade 12, took home two awards: an honorable mention in med-immune as well as a first award for biochemistry/microbiology. Neil Movva, grade 9, received first place for the Inez M. Lechner Award. Suchita Nety, grade 11, also placed, and was awarded the second award in the chemistry category. Anika Ridiya-Dixit, grade 11, received a prestigious award – a certificate of achievement from the United States Army for her project in the areas of medicine/health. Upper school student Tara Rezvani, grade 11, took home the first award in the behavioral/social areas. Vikram Sundar, grade 10, won the second award in the bioinformatics category. Vedant Thayagaraj, grade 9, was awarded second in the medicine/health/gerontology category. Sarina Vij, grade 11, also took home an award as a finalist in the Synopsys Outreach Foundation prize. Also at the fair, Albert Wu, grade 12, was awarded first in the bioinformatics category. Finally for the upper school, Stanley Xie, grade 9, took home an honorable mention in the medicine/health/gerontology category, while Samyukta Yagati, also grade 9, was awarded first in the computers/mathematics category.