Nashua student makes White House presentationBy BENJAMIN C. KLEIN
Union Leader Correspondent April 24. 2013 2:30AM
When Nashua High School South freshman Deepika Kurup won the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge last year, little did she know it would lead to a chance encounter with President Barack Obama's dog Bo.
Deepika and her family were invited to the White House Monday, along with young scientists from around the country, for the third annual White House Science Fair.
In the White House foyer, Deepkia got a chance to present her water purification project to scientists, politicians and celebrities.
"My presentation was so big I got to go inside (the White House) a different way from the other kids, and when I got out of the elevator I ended up running into the first dog Bo, which was exciting," Deepika said.
Deepika added that visiting the White House was, "Absolutely amazing, I was so honored to be asked to present my project to so many people. I was so excited, I was taking pictures everywhere, not many people get to go inside the White House at my age."
Deepika's mother, Meena Kurup, said Deepika's success is the American dream.
"(Deepika's father and I) came to the United States 20 years ago as immigrants. And in that amount of time to get a chance for our daughter to visit White House? It is just a wonderful experience. She worked very hard and deserves this, but she is also fortunate to have this opportunity in the first place," Meena said.
Deepika said that she knew last year's Young Scientist Challenge winner got to go to the White House, but last year's science fair was in February. When February rolled past with no announcement, Deepika said she started to worry there would be no science fair this year. But in a whirlwind sequence of events, Deepika said she was informed only a few days before Monday that she was invited to the White House.
"We found out very suddenly we were invited to the White House," Deepika's father, Pradeep Kurup, said, "and we couldn't tell anyone about it."
While Deepika didn't get a chance to meet Obama during her visit, she said she already spent time with the President when he was campaigning in New Hampshire for a second term. During that visit, Deepika and her family got to spend 10 minutes with Obama to discuss her project.
Along with trying to help bring needed clean water to water-starved areas around the world with her water purification system, Deepika said it is very important to her to get more children and her peers, especially girls, interested in science.
"I think it was really cool, and I am so happy Mr. Obama is interested in getting kids into science. No President ever held a science fair before," Deepika said.