Three Austin HS students leave for International Event

On Sunday, three of Austin's brightest young minds were getting ready to embark on the trip of a lifetime and were given a Texas-sized send off.

"This is a region that had three teams make it to the regional football championships and we send them off with cheerleaders and pom poms. But these kids are competing at the international level and it was real important for them to have a send off too," Mayor Steve Adler said.

Mayor Adler, along with several proud parents and teachers, gathered at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to help send Westwood High School juniors Rucha Joshi and Saket Myneni, as well as Liberal Arts and Science Academy's Saisameer Pusapaty to the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona.

"It would be the Super Bowl for kids that are in high school for sure. (It's) one of the biggest things they can get to, it is the highest level of science fairs," Joshi said.

"You work many hours, you present at your local level, the state level, but finally this is the apex of everything," Pusapaty said.

More than 1,700 students from 75 countries will be competing in the fair. An opportunity that these three students have sacrificed for.

"I spent about three months doing this project, starting at the beginning of June and was finished by the end of August, mid August," Myneni said.

"My project is actually a continuation of two years worth of research which took around 400 hours of lab work," Pusapaty said.

"You have to definitely work on your science fair project while you're working on school and you have so much homework and extracurricular activities," Joshi said.

But that work has paid off in more ways than these future scientists could dream of.

"On the surface level, this project has helped me narrow down on what I want to do as a career path, what causes that I want to look towards, and what I actually want to pursue in the future," Pusapaty said.

"I'll get to see a lot of other high school students that are very, very smart and have equal ideas or even better ideas than me and they are from around the world and around the nation and that's something really invaluable," Myneni said.
 

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