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West Haven engineering magnet school student named finalist in national STEM competition

New Haven

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — One of the most promising Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) students in the country is a student right here in Connecticut, and has been named one of 30 finalists for the 2020 virtual Broadcom Masters.

Snigtha Mohanraj, 13, attends the Engineering and Science University Magnet School in West Haven. She is being honored at the nation’s premier STEM middle school competition for her project on cleaning up microplastic pieces in the ocean.

She said she got the idea when she took a trip to India and saw their water purification process. She began to research and found that microplastic pieces in the water are a real problem. From there, she started her project which took a few months.

The 13-yr-old said she has always been curious about how things work.

She told News 8, “My parents told me when I was young a lot of time I liked to do these little experiments and I like to build things. I don’t remember that myself.”

“I did get a lot of support from my family and my teachers were extremely helpful with it. They provided me with, like, an area to do my work, and they provided me with a microscope…They provided a lot of good support and the space and the materials so my teachers along with my family were very supportive and I give them a lot of credit,” she added.

Monharaj has participated in the local New Haven science fair since kindergarten.

But she said it wasn’t until she hit 5th grade, when she was able to do an independent project, that she realized it was her passion.

She will present her final project during in the competition in October.

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