United States President Barack Obama has praised young Indian-American student for her science project at the third annual White House Science Fair in Washington.
"We're so proud of you. Keep up the good work," Obama said to 17-year old Meghana Rao from Portland, Oregon, after she explained her project based on 'biochar' (charcoal) to the US President at the annual White House Science Fair in which around 30 student teams from across the country exhibited their projects.
American Natural History Museum Young Naturalist Award winner, Meghana, is a JesuitHigh School student who-in addition to researching the ability of 'biochar' also directs a student-run non-profit organisation, Portland Junior Scientists (PJS).
According to the White House, her organisation connects high school students with underprivileged youths through collaborative hands-on science experiments, with the aim of inspiring all participants to pursue higher education.
Meghana started PJS in 2011, after learning that severe budget cuts where forcing local elementary schools to cut back on science curricula.
Through her organisation, local students can attend weekly one-hour after school science programs, participate in science fairs and attend summer science programmes.
"Her hard work helped her earn a 2013 Young Naturalist Award from the AmericanNaturalHistoryMuseum, and brought PJS a $5,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project and an $11,500 grant from the Case Foundation's Finding Fearless programme," the White House said.