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Chandigarh girl's search for success with Google

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 29, 2013
First Published: 16:45 IST(29/6/2013) | Last Updated: 12:09 IST(30/6/2013)

Srishti Asthana, 15, of Chandigarh will showcase her science project, which could be potential green method for treating wastewater containing detergent, at the Google headquarters in the US.

Competing in Google Science Fair, 2013, the Class-11 student from The Millenium School, Mohali, is one of 15 finalists chosen from nearly 1,000 contestants across 120 countries. She claims that her project (solar light assisted nanoZnO photo catalytic mineralisation, green technique for the degradation of detergents) has short treatment time, is less costly and has less exposure involved for workers.

The idea for the project struck her on a field trip to Ludhiana, when disturbed by the dire state of industry's waste disposal, she asked the textile owners why didn't they find a way to treat the dye water. "They counter-questioned me if there was method to treat detergent water,' she said.  Thus began her journey to find a green solution to turn detergent water from industrial waste into an eco-friendly alternative.

"To treat waste containing detergents is difficult, since detergents are rugged and resistant to degrading," Srishti, who wants to pursue a career in pure sciences, said. She will be flown with a guardian to Google's Mountain View headquarters in the US on September 23 to present her project to an international panel of esteemed scientists for the final round of judging. The Grand Prize is a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands with the National Geographic Expeditions and $50000 in scholarship funding and more.

Google Science Fair is an online science competition sponsored by Google, Lego, CERN, National Geographic and Scientific American and started in January 2011. It is open to students in the age bracket of 13 to 18 around the globe who formulate a hypothesis, perform an experiment and present their results.

"The biggest challenge in the project," said Srishti, "was to carry out the research. It's a tough competition but I am geared up for it."

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