Another Indian-American kid, Pranav Sivakumar, has created history by becoming the first person to earn a second time Global Finalist Award in the 2015 Google Science Fair.
But what made this accomplishment even more special was the shoutout to this kid by US President Barack Obama at White House Astronomy Night where bright young kids were present.
“We’ve got some young Americans here tonight with that same kind of adventurous spirit,” he said addressing several hundred people including students, teachers, and NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden at the second White House Astronomy Night.
“When Pranav Sivakumar was six years old, he found an encyclopaedia about famous scientists lying around the house. At least he thinks it was lying around there. Actually, his parents probably were setting it out — hoping he was going to run into it” said Obama at the event on the mansion’s South Lawn Monday night.
“And he’s been fascinated with outer space ever since. For years, every Saturday morning, his parents drove him an hour to an astrophysics lab for ‘Ask-A-Scientist’ class. And before long, he teamed up with researchers he met there to study the ‘gravitational lensing of quasars’. That is not what I was thinking about at his age,” the US President said.
“Pranav was a global finalist in the Google Science Fair — not once, but twice. So you know he’s going to do some important things. Give him a big round of applause,” Obama said.
Pranav, 15, was chosen out of only 10 students in his age category, 7 Americans, and 20 total students worldwide to make the finals of this year’s Google Science Fair. His research addressed resolvable image configurations of quasars in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, allowing him to identify 109 new high probability quasar candidates.
Pranav has also won the Astronomical League’s National Young Astronomer Award, two National Semi-finalist awards in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology, taking second place in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
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