Clarksville, Md., 11th grader Saketh Sundar recognized for Chesapeake Bay watershed project, will represent Maryland in International BioGENEius Challenge
GAITHERSBURG, Md., May 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Learning Undefeated, a nonprofit organization that provides innovative and experiential STEM education programs, announced today that Saketh Sundar, a junior at River Hill High School in Rockville, Maryland has won the 2022 Maryland BioGENEius Challenge.
Together with the Biotechnology Institute, Learning Undefeated hosts the Maryland BioGENEius Challenge, a rigorous international competition for talented high school students in grades 9-12. As the 2022 Maryland BioGENEius finalist, Sundar will represent the state at the annual International BIO Convention in San Diego, CA June 13-16, 2022. This year, the BioGENEius Challenge expanded into three new challenge tracks, including the Global Healthcare Challenge in medical biotechnology, the Global Sustainability Challenge in agricultural biotechnology, and the Global Environmental Challenge in industrial/environmental biotechnology.
“The BioGENEius Challenge is the most prestigious high school science competition in the world,” said Learning Undefeated CEO Brian Gaines. “Learning Undefeated is proud to support Saketh Sundar and all of this year’s finalists. It is remarkable to watch these students design and implement a unique research project that will address a gap currently experienced in the scientific world.”
Sundar’s project titled, A Low-Cost Approach for Detection, Classification, and Quantification of Microplastic Pollution in the Chesapeake Watershed Using Deep Learning and IoT, explores methods to detect, classify, and quantify microplastic pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Microplastic pollution in the Chesapeake Bay is an extremely important issue, affecting numerous ecosystems and species. Sundar constructed a device that could pave the way for citizen scientists to collect and analyze large amounts of data to improve governmental policies on plastic pollution.
Sundar, along with other U.S. finalists, will join winners from the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada and the BioGENEius Challenge Germany to compete on the world stage.
Runners up in the 2022 Maryland BioGENEius Challenge were:
- 2nd place – Jonathan Feng, an 11th-grade student from Marriott’s Ridge High School, for Bioengineering Probiotic Yeast to Secrete Anti-inflammatory Cytokine Bi-specific Antibody for Ameliorating Gut Inflammation
- 3rd place – Digonto Chatterjee, a 10th-grade student from Thomas S. Wootton High School, for Racial Disparities in Survival Outcomes of Pancreatic Cancer Patients: A Quantitative Proteo-Genomic Analysis
About Learning Undefeated
Learning Undefeated provides life-changing STEM experiences for under-resourced communities by providing equitable access to education and inspiring students to imagine their own success. Through innovative and experiential education programs for grades K-12, we are sparking interest in STEM careers and building the workforce that will drive the innovation economy. Learning Undefeated’s flagship education program features mobile STEM labs that have provided hands-on learning opportunities to over one million K-12 students in all 50 states since 2003.
Learning Undefeated also operates several other celebrated STEM education programs, including the Young Science Explorers Program, a summer camp for middle school students, the Emerging Leaders in Biotechnology program, the STEM Leadership Experience, student competitions, after-school programs, curriculum development, and disaster recovery education.
Visit learningundefeated.org or follow on social media @LearningUNDFTD.