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State Honoree

Ana Kadkhodayan

Illinois

Ana Kadkhodayan, 17, of Collinsville, Ill., a senior at Collinsville High School, founded the “Scientific Kids of America Club” at her school to perform science experiments for disadvantaged children and show them that science is fascinating and fun. Ana began her project after a lab partner in her chemistry class reacted to a disappointing experiment by saying that she hated science. Concerned that similar frustrations keep others from enjoying science, Ana first wrote a booklet of 46 simple chemistry and physics experiments for kids, called Science Magic. Then she wrote a proposal to form an official school club, received her principal and school board’s approval, and persuaded her physics teacher to sponsor the group. After contacting children’s shelters to arrange performances by the club, Ana and her fellow members gathered regularly to practice their experiments. “I am excited to be part of something that can give a child a more imaginative mind,” said Ana, who plans to continue the club after she graduates.