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North South Foundation (NSF) Regional Contests 2017

Savitha Rajiv
05/09/2017

2017 marks the 25th year that NSF has held the educational bees here in the US. The final round of NSF regional contests for this year was held during the weekend of April 29-30th. 88 chapters across the country held educational bees spread over three weekends between March and April this year. Over 16,000 kids of Indian origin participated in the various bees. The Worcester chapter competition was held at Fitchburg State University with close to 400 kids participating in Math, Geography, Spelling, Vocabulary, Essay Writing and Public Speaking.

 

North South Foundation is a non-profit organization established by Dr. Ratnam Chitturi in Chicago, back in 1989 to provide scholarships for economically challenged, bright kids in India, to pursue a college degree.  What started with one scholarship back in 1989 has today expanded to over 12,000 scholarships.  $250 will fund one scholarship year to qualified kids in the field of their choice.  Funds are raised through the registration fees of the educational bees held here in the US.

 

Each year several of the NSF kids who participate in the NSF competitions go on to win National level competitions like the Scripps Spelling bee, National Geographic bee, National Mathcounts, Science bowl and several others.


In addition to the bees, NSF offers online coaching for SAT, ACT, Mathcounts, Spelling & Geography. Ambassador Program for NSF Alumni (NSF-APNA)
is a wonderful bridge between the Indian diaspora and their home country. These alumni who have phased out of competition ages visit schools in India during their summer break and conduct workshops in Spelling, Math & Science.

Universal Values is another important program started in 2013 that has gained popularity. It teaches children to practice important values like to think before you say, treat others with respect, do not hurt others, perform acts of kindness in your daily life.

Life Skills is a new program offered to students that will teach them important skills like to be self-motivated, how to communicate effectively, overcome the fear of public speaking, handle criticism with grace and courage, grow into secure young adults and perform to your full potential.

NSF Massachusetts was established back in 2001 with one chapter and 25 kids participating in the bees. Today, we have three chapters in the area, one in Manchester, NH and two in MA. The Worcester chapter contests headed by Ruma Neogy, the chapter coordinator and Dr. Meledath Govindan, the Technical coordinator was a great success.

 

The event was sponsored by Dr. Meledath Govindan and Fitchburg State University, along with our Gold sponsor, The Huntington Learning Center in Acton. Their $1000 sponsorship allows us to offer four scholarships to the needy students in India.


Prithvi Banerjee of Mind Gym Initiative conducted two sessions for parents and kids during the contests at FSU. 
In the modern age of fragmented attention that feeds off fifteen-second news cycles, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter alerts, we are all trying our best to focus our attention. However, most of us cannot because we were never taught how to. We have been asked to pay attention all the time, but very few of us were shown how we could improve ours.

Unbox!' is a practical approach that focuses on how to deal with distracting thoughts that fragment our attention. It uses 'mind-exercises' to help us improve our attention leading to more efficient and impactful actions. The exercises used in the Unbox! workshop are contemporary translations of some the most effective mindfulness techniques across ages.  The workshop was well received by parents.

Our award ceremony was presided by Roopom Banerjee. Hailing from Lexington, Roopom holds an M.P.P from Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and dual B.S. degrees in Biology and Economics from MIT. He was also honored with a “40 Under 40” award by the Boston Business Journal.

 

Roopom was the President and CEO of RainDance Technologies, a venture-backed life science company pioneering the field of liquid biopsy for the detection of cancer from a blood test. Previously, he was a Director of Healthcare Investment Banking at Leerink Swann, where he led the Life Science Tools & Diagnostics sector.

 

All the participants and winners of the bees received medals and trophies from Roopom Banerjee.

The 2017 National Finals will be held on August 12 and 13 at The University of Houston in Houston, TX. Qualifications for the National Finals are based on the cut off scores for each grade in each contest. Invitees will be notified by mid-May.

To learn more about NSF, please visit our website : www.northsouth.org

To learn more about the online coaching offered by NSF: http://www.northsouth.org/public/uscontests/coaching/coaching.aspx

To learn more about NSF India Scholarships: http://www.northsouth.org/public/india/scholarships.aspx

To read testimonials from Scholarship recipients http://www.northsouth.org/public/india/testimonials.aspx

To learn more about NSF APNA program: http://www.northsouth.org/public/APNA/apna.aspx

To join our dedicated team of volunteers here, please contact the Northeast Zonal Coordinator: Savitha Rajiv (Savitha_usa@yahoo.com)

 

NSF in the news:

http://www.breakingthebee.com/

https://harpers.org/archive/2017/05/bee-brained/


Below are the winners from the contests.

ESSAY WRITING BEE

NAME

CONTESTS

PLACE

GRADE

Aditi Bhattamishra

Junior Essay Writing

1

5

Ebadah Khan

Junior Essay Writing

2

4

Sahana Behera

Junior Essay Writing

3

5

Suraj Rajiv

Intermediate Essay Writing

1

8

Shalini Biju

Intermediate Essay Writing

2

6

Sai Kamal Narra

Intermediate Essay Writing

3

8

Abijeet Sambhangi

Senior Essay Writing

1

11

Thrusha Puttaraju

Senior Essay Writing

2

9

Anirudh Iyer

Senior Essay Writing

3

10

PUBLIC SPEAKING

NAME

CONTESTS

PLACE

GRADE

Amir Hameed

Junior Public Speaking

1

7

Srivishnu Piratla

Junior Public Speaking

2

7

Shalini Biju

Junior Public Speaking

3

6

Aditya Hoque

Senior Public Speaking

1

11

Nisha Pillai

Senior Public Speaking

2

11

Thrusha Puttaraju

Senior Public Speaking

3

9

GEOGRAPHY BEE

NAME

CONTESTS

PLACE

GRADE

Amal Balachundhar

Junior Geography

1

2

Nikhil Ponnusamy

Junior Geography

2

3

Siddharth Vytla

Junior Geography

3

2

Suraj Rajiv

Senior Geography

1

8

Atreya Mallanna

Senior Geography

2

4

Bharathan Sundar

Senior Geography

3

8

VOCABULARY BEE

NAME

CONTESTS

PLACE

GRADE

Vedant Saran

Junior Vocabulary

1

3

Shamini Biju

Junior Vocabulary

2

2

Vaishnavi Iyer

Junior Vocabulary

3

3

Aditya Bachina

Intermediate Vocabulary

1

7

Richa Juvekar

Intermediate Vocabulary

2

7

Bharathan Sundar

Intermediate Vocabulary

3

8

SPELLING BEE

NAME

CONTESTS

PLACE

GRADE

Vani Mittal

Junior Spelling

1

3

Sriaditya Vaddadi

Junior Spelling

2

3

Saketh Madhusudhan

Junior Spelling

3

3

Harshitha Sanchu

Senior Spelling

1

6

Srichakrika Gudimella

Senior Spelling

2

7

Sara Parulekar

Senior Spelling

3

6

MATH BEE

NAME

CONTESTS

PLACE

GRADE

Suhaas Goluguri

Math Level 1

1

2

Agastya Sondhi

Math Level 1

2

2

Naaisha Agarwal

Math Level 1

3

2

Vishal Nandakumar

Math Level 2

1

5

Akhilsai Damera

Math Level 2

2

5

Rohith Raghavan

Math Level 2

3

4

Ishita Goluguri

Math Level 3

1

8

Anuj Sakarda

Math Level 3

2

7

Shashank Jarmale

Math Level 3

3

8

 



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