Junior Achiever: Vani Pandian
March 28, 2014
Ever since her first visit to LUMCON with her mother, Vani Pandian, a fifth-grader at Tchefuncte Middle School, has had an interest in water quality. She listened carefully as LUMCON Educator Murt Conover explained how to conduct water quality tests, and the importance of studying and collecting data on the environment. Vani’s trip to LUMCON inspired not one, but two successful projects.
In 2012, Vani’s project was entitled “Let’s Get Splashin’.” She wondered if there was a difference in the water quality of the lagoon near her home and that of Lake Pontchartrain. She also wanted to see if there was a difference in water collected from the sites in the morning and those collected in the afternoon. For four consecutive Saturdays, Vani, with help from her mom, collected and tested water samples for dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH and clarity. After analyzing the data she collected, doing research on how and why water quality varies, and some explanation about coastal waters from Murt Conover, Vani was ready to present her findings. Her project won first prize at her school’s competition, and second in the regional Science Fair. She also earned the Carol Meyer Science Award of Tchefuncte Middle School.
This year, Vani chose to participate in the Social Studies Fair with her project “Coastal Erosion – A Universal Problem.” She started preparing for her project with another trip to LUMCON to help her visualize the various aspects of her presentation. She rode into the marsh, gathered pictures and took advantage of LUMCON’s library to complete her project. Vani earned first place at her school level, second in regional and will be presenting her project at the state Social Studies Fair on May 6th.
For her service to others and her desire to help the environment, Vani was awarded 5th Grade Student of the Year for her school and also for her district. LUMCON would like to congratulate Vani and wish her continued success.