Ashwin Earns 2nd Place in Dupont Challenge!

Congratulations to Wheatley sophomore Ashwin Reddy!  His essay, “The Bionic Eye:  The Key to Acuity” has won him second place honors in this year’s DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition.

Nearly 10,000 students from across the nation submitted entries for this prestigious national competition, sponsored by DuPont, NASA, the National Science Teachers Association, Walt Disney World Resort and others.  Ashwin’s essay focused on the topic of blindness due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and Retinitis pigmentosa (RP), which affects nearly ten million people worldwide.  Within his essay, he reported the use of a bionic eye;  a prosthesis for the eye to replace damaged retinal cells.  The bionic eye is comprised of an external camera and an internal micro chip, which helps the remaining retinal cells in the eye to send signals to the optic nerve, allowing those blinded by these conditions to see with near-perfect acuity.  Ashwin hopes that this science fiction becomes a reality in the very near future. Ashwin’s essay went through a rigorous review process before being awarded 2nd place, being read and judged over 15 different times!

For his winning essay, Ashwin will be given a $3000 U.S. Savings bond, an all expenses-paid trip to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Kennedy Space Center.  In addition, all Wheatley students the will be given access to the Britannica Online School Edition and Britannica Digital Learning E-book collection for one year.  Ashwin’s Science Reasearch teacher, Mr. Van Bell, has also been awarded the trip to Disney World and the Kennedy Space Center! Congratulations to Ashwin! Thanks to Mr. Van Bell for his support and this write-up!

Ashwin and Mr. Van Bell shortly after receiving the good news!

Ashwin and Mr. Van Bell shortly after receiving the good news!

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