Odisha girl wins award at Google Science Fair

Lalita Prasida Sripada Srisai, a class IX student from Damanjodi in Koraput district in Odisha won the ‘Community Impact Award’ at the prestigious Google Science Fair in California on Tuesday.

This student of DPS Damanjodi developed a low-cost bio-absorbent based water purifier which uses waste corn cobs as key ingredient. She has won the award in 13-15 years age group. The winners of the fifth annual Google Science Fair were announced live from Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California. As part of this award, Lalita received 10,000 US dollars as prize money. Lalita will be further supported for one year by the organisation to build on her project.

Students and staff of the school at Damanjodi celebrated the news of Lalita’s achievement. Speaking to The Hindu, headmaster of DPS Damanjodi, Trinath Prasad Padhi was all praises for achievement of Lalita, who he claimed was also proficient in other extra-curricular activities like song and dance. “We have planned up a major function on the campus to honour Lalita, when she returns back”, he said.

As part of the project, Lalita Prasida used waste corncobs in order to purify water from domestic as well as industrial wastes, by applying the principle of adsorption. In her experiment, Lalita Prasida found that waste corncobs are able to absorb contaminants like salt oxides, detergent, suspended particles, coloured dyes, oil, grease and even some heavy metals.

“I like to visit nearby villages and observe their lifestyle. Villagers’ lifestyle revolve around agriculture, in cultivating many varieties of crops. This developed an interest in me to focus on science and develop something new, related to agriculture,” Lalita Prasida told NDTV.

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