Vestal middle schooler uses smarts and passion for science to help spread awareness about COVID-19

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VESTAL, NY – A local middle schooler is hoping to link her passion for science to the prevention of COVID-19.

Manya Kukkar may only be going in the 8th grade, but she already won top honors for her age group at the

New York State Science Congress earlier this month.

The Science Congress is a competition open to students in grades 4 to 12 who have been nominated from regional science fairs.

Kukkar, who fell in the grades 6 – 8 age group, competed her project on linking the spread of COVID-19 to the consumption of processed foods and gut health.

Kukkar says she was shocked when she won, and was really happy to do something to help stop the spread of the virus.

“I was watching the news and like every day millions of people were either sick or just died, which, I didn’t like, so my mission was to find a cure and a preventive strategy so it could end and we could get back to our normal lives,” says Kukkar.

Kukkar says it took about a year and a half to complete the project, which was separate from all her usual schoolwork.

And she’s not done yet – right now she says she testing more data for a part 2.

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