INDIANAPOLIS (May 27, 2008) - Governor Mitch Daniels made a surprise visit to Terre Haute South Vigo High School today to announce that senior Swara Kopparty is "Indiana Miss Science," the inaugural winner of the annual Hoosier High School Science Award.
Kopparty was selected from among 160 candidates by a panel of high school science teachers, university science professors, Department of Education staff, and science professionals. The winners were chosen solely on the basis of academic achievement and test scores. McGraw-Hill Education is providing the winner with a $2,000 academic scholarship.
"It's past time to give our top math and science students at least as much praise and recognition as we have always showered on our athletes. Honestly, Indiana and America's future success is far more dependent on young people like Swara and Sam," said Daniels, who earlier today presented the Hoosier High School Math Award to Samuel Dittmer of Zionsville Community High School. Here is a link to the news release about Samuel Dittmer: http://www.in.gov/portal/news_events/22549.htm
Kopparty is the daughter of Dr. Bhaskara Kopparty and Dr. Surekha Kopparty.
Selection criteria included SAT, ACT and Advanced Placement scores, awards and prizes earned, and grades in science. Kopparty scored an 800/800 on the SAT Physics exam, completed all science courses with a grade of "A," completed all science and math Advanced Placement exams with a score of 5/5, and has numerous competition achievements. Those include being a 2008 Intel Science Talent Search Semifinalist, Indiana Junior Science and Humanities Symposium champion, West Central Indiana Science and English Fair Best of Show, top honors at the West Central Indiana Science and English Fair, best of show at the Hoosier Science and Engineering fair, and American Chemical Society Chemistry Olympiad National Finalist in 2006. In addition to her academic and competitive achievements, she also spent four weeks last summer at the Research Science Institute at Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) working on a chemical engineering project with a graduate student. She has been doing research with various college professors since she was a sophomore.
The awards were developed with input from the Indiana Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (I-STEM) Network, the Hoosier Association of Science Teachers, Inc. (HASTI), the Indiana Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM) and the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents.
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