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A beacon of exploration

Youth from YARD Sciences take their projects to the next level

Special to The Sun
Moorestown High School and YARD Sciences student Yash Bhavsar will travel to the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles to present his project later this month.

YARD Sciences in Mount Laurel has announced that two of its high-school students and one middle schooler have been selected to showcase their groundbreaking science fair projects at prestigious events across the country.

Described as a beacon of scientific exploration and mentorship, YARD Sciences focuses on biomolecular and genetic engineering, human anatomy and physiology and surgical sub-specialties for students in grades three to 12.

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The goal of the institution is to help students have fun and learn new things.

“We are thrilled to see our students achieving such remarkable success on both the national and international stages,” said Dr Yajamana Ramu, chief scientific officer at YARD Sciences. “Their accomplishments are a testament to their hard work, dedication and the supportive environment we strive to provide at YARD Sciences.”

The organization takes pride in fostering the talents of aspiring scientists through its Science Fair Mentoring Program. This year, 14 students participated, showcasing their ingenuity and creativity at various fairs in the region. Two YARD students, Olivia Swarup and Akshaj Sama, secured top honors at the Mercer Science and Engineering Fair.

Ami Rastogi impressed judges at the North Jersey STEM Fair (TERRA), advancing to the second round. Eleven students excelled at the Coriell Science Fair, with 10 receiving top awards and advancing to the Delaware Valley Science Fair (DVSF), where seven students clinched first or second place, along with special awards.

“The most important thing out of this was not only the winning, but the experience of learning the whole process of how to do a science fair project (from) start to end, and then presenting it to a community of people who come here to do a mock presentation,” Ramu explained.

“By the time they are going to the judges, they are already very well prepared.”

Special to The Sun
“We are very happy that the students are learning a lot, and it’s not about winning, but learning,” said Dr Yajamana Ramu, chief scientific officer at YARD Sciences. “Winning comes along the way.”

Yash Bhavsar, a ninth grader at Moorestown High School, and Nandini Rastogi, an 11th-grade homeschooler, have secured coveted spots to present their projects at this month’s Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles from May 11 to 17. Their projects have garnered attention for innovation and potential impact on the scientific landscape.

Radika Dudda, a seventh grader at Voorhees Middle School, has been chosen to represent her school and YARD Sciences at the Therma Fisher National Science Fair in October. Dudda’s project is said to stand out for its ingenuity as it demonstrates the promise of budding talent in science.

“I was thrilled and in complete shock as I attended the award ceremony at DVSF,” Bhavsar recalled. “As they announced my name that I was moving to ISEF, I could not believe it. Thank you to YARD Sciences and Dr. Ramu for his mentorship in this year’s project.

“YARD Sciences’ lab is a great place for kids to learn and thrive.”

“Believing in science, conducting experiments and seeing the results in front of your eyes, is the most amazing experience one can hope for,” Bhavsar observed. “I tell kids of all ages, let your curiosity drive your passion. We need next-generation engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs, and it’s never too early to start.”

“I wouldn’t have been able to do (my) project by myself,” Rastogi acknowledged. “The things that I can do here (at YARD) are so different from the things that I could do just by myself at home. To have a mentor for your science project, I think, is really important, just to get your questions answered, to make sure you’re on the right track.

” … YARD Sciences, it’s an amazing facility,” she added. “I wouldn’t have been able to do my project at all without YARD Sciences and my mentor, Dr. Ramu.”

“When you say ‘science,’ a lot of kids probably think it’s really hard,” Dudda observed. “It’s not that hard if you break it down and actually memorize it, or understand it in a way you know how to do it. It’s really easy.”

Ninety-five percent of YARD Sciences students have been promoted to regional fairs, with 16% promoted to national and international levels and $151,100 in awards and scholarships at local and regional science fairs, according to its website.

For more information, visit www.yardsciences.com.

“There’s no lab like this anywhere that you can see, so we are one of the few to offer,” Ramu said. “I think people should take advantage of us, and use this as a stepping-stone to the next fair… We are very happy that the students are learning a lot, and it’s not about winning, but learning. Winning comes along the way.”


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