ACPS students score top honors in competitions

Eastside High School senior Atharva Pathak

After putting in the hard work, students from Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS) are collecting awards from state and national competitions. This week, the school district released information on 16 students who received honors. 

Jake Frazer, Samuel Kim and Andrew Xing from Buchholz High School along with Atharva Pathak from Eastside High School joined 324 other students nationwide to become qualifiers in the United States of America Math Olympiad competition. 

Buchholz sophomores Will Guam and Daniel Wang also earned a spot in the United States Junior Math Olympiad, joining just five other students in Florida and 300 in the nation.

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Frazer also set a record by qualifying for each of the past five years, more than any other ACPS student. Only five other students nationwide have qualified each year. 

Science Fair 2022 Akash Verma

At the State Science and Engineering Fair, nine ACPS students received honors, including two first place finishes and a student moving on to an international competition. 

Eastside High School junior Akash Verma won first place for his project titled “Evaluating the efficacy of certain high altitude plant extracts in the strategies for potential chemoprevention—a radiochromic film colorimeter guided approach.”

Through the project, Verma got an $80,000 scholarship from the Florida Institute of Technology. 

Science Fair 2022 Abhith Kasala

Lincoln Middle School’s Abhith Kasala won first place for his project concerning plastic pollution. 

The finish makes him a nominee for the 2022 Broadcom MASTERS competition, and the project also won accolades from NASA and the Sierra Club of Florida. 

Buchholz’s Himal Bamzai-Wokhlu earned a spot at the 2022 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in Atlanta for her project dealing with COVID-19 detection. 

The following students will also be recognized for their projects in a ceremony at the O’Connell Center on Wednesday. 

  • Audrey Hertel, Westwood Middle School
  • Maggie Gao, Lincoln Middle School
  • Surya Vaddiparti-Varma, Lincoln Middle School
  • Luke Xu, Buchholz High School
  • Benjamin Joseph, Eastside High School
  • Angela Gao, Buchholz High School

Florida’s Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran honored 100 juniors at the 2022 Sunshine State Scholars Conference in Orlando, and 15 students, including Alachua County’s Rishi Gadikota, received a 1-year scholarship to attend one of Florida’s nationally ranked colleges or universities. 

“These students are a shining example of excellence,” Marshall M. Criser III, chancellor of the State University System of Florida, said in a press release. “We are proud of their accomplishments and look forward to assisting them in achieving their dreams.”


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