The kids way

South Asian Kids

Posted by southasiankids on December 29, 2014 in Uncategorized with No Comments

Do you ever had a hard time doing accounting stuff in your daily lives? Did you even hate Math during your High school or College days? Well get ready because this 15 year old kid will show you how much love and passion she has with numbers.


Priyanshi Somani is known as the world’s fastest square rooter. She carried the title “Indian Ambassador for the World Maths Day 2011 event for 2 years. At age 11, she won the Mental Calculation World Cup 2010. She was the youngest participant out of the 37 who took part during that time of the competition. Priyanshi was the only contestant who got 100% accuracy in addition, multiplication and square roots in the history of the competition.

Priyanshi the “Mental Calculator” from Gujarat, India, became champion on numerous Math competitions, not to mention the National Champion in Abacus and Mental Arithmetic competition in India, and International Champion at Malaysia. She stood 1st at the International level in grade 5 at The International Olympiad of Mathematics in 2008. Priyanshi was the Guest Of Honor at the 16th Mental Arithmetic International Competition on November 28 2010 organized by UCMAS Global Education Group in Malaysia among 43 countries. Priyanshi has recently been featured in the ‘Mind and Memory’ section of the 2014 Guinness Book of World Records.

Priyanshi started learning Math at the age of 6. According to her, when her mother, discovered her amazing ability at an early age, she encouraged her to go ahead in Maths. Along with her parent’s support, Priyanshi promises to continue to strive for excellence and produce results that exceed expectations.

For some people, Math is taken seriously, but for Priyanshi she loves playing with numbers. She would even come up with a competitive game to sharpen her skills and make it fun! During her interviews she would emphasize that loving Math is not another thing to add in your to-do-list. She encourages people to try it. Priyanshi’s love for Math is remarkable. She calculates everything in her mind. Math for many is a problem that they have to solve, but for Priyanshi Math is something that is very interesting and entertaining.

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Posted by southasiankids on July 17, 2014 in Uncategorized with No Comments

Asian Indian Kids did it again- not Math Bee or Spelling Bee or National Geographic Bee- they proved themselves in Robotics now!

A team of home schooled brothers, Arvind and Sanjay Seshan, along with their friends Nick and Arjan carried home the “First-place Innovative Solution trophy” from the First Lego League (FLL) International Open tournament.  This trophy recognizes their innovative solution of using sulphur dioxide sensors to alert aircraft of dangerous volcanic ash. The contest was held in Toronto from the 4th to the 7th June 2014.  There were 72 teams from around the world competing at this event. To be invited to attend this tournament, the teams had to have won their state-level tournament.  Sanjay and Arvind’s team, Not the Droids You are Looking For, qualified by being the First Place Champions for Western Pennsylvania.

The team coach, Asha Seshan, said that the FLL has taught the kids not only engineering and programming skills, but it also taught them the core values like teamwork, patience and cooperation.

Our team at South Asian Kids was able to speak to Arvind and Sanjay Seshan. Arvind, who is 9, likes all parts of FLL, but especially enjoyed the research part of the contest this year.  After three years in FLL, Arvind has learnt so much about finding solutions to problems that impact people and wants to use these skills to be an inventor when he grows up. Sanjay, who is 11, likes the programming the best.  Sanjay has been inspired by FLL and wants to be a robotics engineer when he grows up.  Through FLL, he has learnt to program in three programming languages.

You can learn more about the team by visiting

Kids in action

What is FLL?

First Lego league is a robotics program for 9 to 16 year olds (9 to 14 in US/CAN/MEX), which is designed to get children excited about science and technology — and teach them valuable employment and life skills.

Each Challenge has three parts: the Robot Game, the Project, and the FLL Core Values. Teams of up to ten children, with one adult coach, participate in the Challenge by programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field (Robot Game), developing a solution to a problem they have identified (Project), all guided by the FLL Core Values. Teams may then choose to attend an official tournament, hosted by one of our FIRST LEGO League Partners. – See more at:

See more at:

Behind the Scenes

The kids, Sanjay, Arvind, Nick and Arjan – worked 10 hrs every week (Fridays & Saturdays) for 3 months at a stretch, to make this happen. This does not take into account the extended hours of research each team member did as part of homework or the field trips to understand the process. After winning first place at their state-level tournament, they continued to work extra hours to improve and polish their work in preparation for the international tournament in Canada.  All together, they went on many field trips to meet pilots, flight dispatchers, propulsion engineers and sulphur dioxide sensor manufacturers. The commitment and patience of the kids and parents is worth recognition.

Here is a list of trophies the kids have won in Robotics so far.

Arvind and Sanjay’s mom, and the team coach, Asha Seshan, was kind to share the cost with us for the first two years of running a team (for the parents who want to start their teams with the kids).

Year 1: ($1100 min)

$100 – 1 Wooden Table that fits the specifications

$225 – Team Registration

$75 – Field Set up Kit (mat and legos)

$500 per set – 1 EV3 Competition robot set per team: Ideally, you will purchase enough robots so you can have 1 per every 3 kids, so this cost may go up a lot.  Having extra technic Legos  to build with will also be important)

$60 – Shipping/Handling

$15 each – Tshirts

$150 – Local Competition – varies by state

$50 – Misc: Binders, notebook, copying costs, poster boards

Other equipment: Laptop to program on and take to contests.

Other costs: Food/snacks, travel

Year 2: ($500 min)

$0 – Reuse the Table and robot

$75 – Field Set Up Kit (mat and legos)

$15 each – Tshirts

$225 – Team Registration

$150 – Local Competition

$60 – Shipping and Handling

$50 – Misc: Binders, notebook, copying costs, poster boards

Other equipment: Laptop to program on and take to contests.

Other costs: Food/snacks, travel

If you win in the State-Level contest, there are additional expenses to attend an international one.

Coach handbook will be useful to your readers.  Explains FLL’s parts and many other details for anyone wanting to start out:

If you like to have more information about FLL or have any question for the team coach – Asha, please write to us in the comment section below and we will try to get back to you with your answers.

Stay tuned, we will be bringing in more stories about the South Asian kids doing wonders around the Globe. Subscribe to get updates when the stories are posted.

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Posted by southasiankids on May 24, 2014 in Uncategorized with No Comments

2014 National Geographic Bee winner Akhil Rekulapelli, 13, an eighth-grader from Stone Hill Middle School in Ashburn, Virginia, celebrates his victory with journalist and Bee moderator Soledad O’Brien and National Geographic CEO Gary E. Knell. (Photo by Mark Thiessen / National Geographic)

Indian American Students Top National Geographic Bee

Washington—An Indian American student has won the coveted National Geographic Bee championship that includes a $50,000 college scholarship, National Geographic said.

Akhil Rekulapelli, 13, from Virginia, outclassed fellow Indian American Ameya Mujumdar in the final head-to-head round of the nationwide contest held in Washington May 21. Read more at

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Posted by southasiankids on November 11, 2013 in Uncategorized with No Comments

The South Asia Book Award, administered by the South Asia National Outreach Consortium, is given annually for up to two outstanding works of literature, from early childhood to secondary reading levels, which accurately and skillfully portrays South Asia or South Asians in the Diasporas, that is the experience of individuals living in South Asia, or of South Asians living in other parts of the world. Up to five Honor Books and Highly Commended Books will also be recognized by the award committee for their contribution to this body of literature on the region.

2013 South Asia Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature

2013 Winners

The Rumor by Anushka Ravishankar, illustrations by Kanyika Kini (Tundra Books, 2012).  In the village of Baddbaddpur, the people like to tell tales. Pandurang is so dour that he can make milk turn sour. One day he coughs up a feather. As the story of Pandurang’s feather is passed from one person to another it grows and grows and grows until it can hardly be recognized. (Grades PreK-4).

Kids of Kabul: Living Bravely Through a Never-Ending War by Deborah Ellis (Groundwood Books, House of Anansi Press, 2012). Deborah Ellis went to Kabul to find out what happened to Afghanistan’s children since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.  She interviewed children who spoke about their lives. They are still living in a country torn apart by war, violence and oppression still exist, particularly affecting the lives of girls, but the kids are weathering their lives with courage and optimism. (Grades 5 – 12).

Submission Guidelines


Eligible books include those that are published in the US, UK, Canada, and countries in South Asia during the preceding year (January 1 – December 31, 2013). Consideration will be given to the ease with which school teachers and librarians in the United States would be able to order multiple copies. Books may be submitted by publishers or individuals, although the judges may consider any eligible book that comes to their attention.


To nominate a title, publishers or individuals are invited to submit review copies to the award committee by December 31, 2013. There is no entry fee. Committee members will review the nominated books individually and will consult reviews in major publishing/library journals.

The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2013. The 2014 winner, honor books and highly commended books will be announced by May 1, 2014.

Please send seven copies of the nominated book (one each) to the South Asia Book Award Committee Members and Award Coordinator. Thank You.

  • Jennifer Burke
    DeWitt Community Library
    3649 Erie Blvd. East
    DeWitt, NY 13214
  • Svetha Hetzler, Committee Chair
    5326 Russett Road
    Madison, WI  53711
  • Kevin King
    212 Creston Avenue
    Kalamazoo, MI 49001
  • Oralee Kramer, In-coming Chair
    7715 37th NE
    Seattle, WA 98115
  • Katherine Mervis
    426 Bloom Street
    Highland Park, IL 60035
  • Rachel Meyer, PhD, Content Specialist
    Senior Program Coordinator
    South Asia Institute
    The University of Texas at Austin
    120, Inner Campus Dr. STOP G9300
    Austin, TX 78712-1251
  • Victoria Longoria
    3901 Yarborough Avenue
    Austin, TX 78744
  • Rachel Weiss, Award Coordinator
    Center for South Asia, UW-Madison
    203 Ingraham Hall
    1155 Observatory Drive
    Madison, WI 53706


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Posted by southasiankids on November 8, 2013 in Uncategorized with No Comments

Priyanka Chopra is an amazing actor and musician standing for the cause of keeping kids alive in Africa – Dr. David Anderson —(* from Priyanka Chopra Facebook page)

Crowned as Miss World 2000, Priyanka Chopra is one of the top paid Bollywood actresses.

Priyanka Chopra is on Thursday night NFL :
Sky is not the limit- proven right by Priyanka Chopra – who’s now making a name for herself, starring in the opening sequence of NFL Network’s “Thursday Night Football.”

Nina Davuluri

Nina Davuluri Miss America

Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America 2014, becoming the first woman of Indian origin to be Miss America.
The Miss America supports and celebrates diversity through cultural competency – reflected clearly in her talent performance act for the pageant.
She took pride in her culture performing classic Indian dances  with Bollywood fusion moves.

It’s  a matter of pride for friends, family and all around to witness such confidence showcasing culture.

Shakuntala Devi - Human Computer

Shakuntala Devi

Google Doodle features a calculator screen, with image of an Indian numerologist as she gets names as the human computer.  Nov 5th honors the birth of Shakuntala Devi, pictured to the left of Google’s logo. Its a matter of pride and honor for every Asian Indian as her doodle wears a saree and a bindi “the dot on the forehead”.

She extracted the 23rd root of a 201-digit number mentally in the year 1977. Shakuntala Devi demonstrated the multiplication of two 13-digit numbers 7,686,369,774,870 x 2,465,099,745,779 picked at random by the Computer Department of Imperial College, London on June 18, 1980 in just 28 seconds.

To read more, simply search “Shakuntala devi” on ( * image from

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Posted by southasiankids on November 6, 2013 in Uncategorized with No Comments

Google Doodle features a calculator screen, with image of an Indian numerologist as she gets names as the human computer.  Nov 5th honors the birth of Shakuntala Devi, pictured to the left of Google’s logo. Its a matter of pride and honor for every Asian Indian as her doodle wears a saree and a bindi “the dot on the forehead”.

She extracted the 23rd root of a 201-digit number mentally in the year 1977. Shakuntala Devi demonstrated the multiplication of two 13-digit numbers 7,686,369,774,870 x 2,465,099,745,779 picked at random by the Computer Department of Imperial College, London on June 18, 1980 in just 28 seconds.

To read more, simply search “Shakuntala devi” on ( * image from

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Posted by southasiankids on August 12, 2013 in Uncategorized with No Comments

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 – San Francisco, CA – IfOnly, purveyor of extraordinary experiences for good is pleased to announce their partnership with Indian film legend Amitabh Bachchan and his charitable trust, The Harivansh Rai Bachchan Memorial Trust. This partnership has been initiated in association with FLUENCE, India’s leading ‘online influencer network’ that handles Mr. Bachchan’s digital presence. Fluence, a CA Media Company has worked with IfOnly to offer unique and unprecedented experiences with Mr. Bachchan, one of the most iconic actors in the history of Indian cinema, to support his foundation, which seeks to provide long-term humanitarian elevation programs in India.

IfOnly offers unique and memorable experiences with the world’s top talents in the fields of entertainment, sports, food, wine and more. The collaboration marks the beginning of IfOnly’s foray into the world of Indian luminaries.  FLUENCE will also leverage Mr. Bachchan’s worldwide social media presence to increase awareness for IfOnly’s experiences with the superstar’s 5 million Facebook and 6 million Twitter fans.

“We are excited to work with Mr. Bachchan and help raise money for The Harivansh Rai Bachchan Memorial Trust,” said Trevor Traina, Founder and CEO of IfOnly. “His experiences on IfOnly are incredible opportunities for true Indian film fans to connect with this legend while supporting a worthy cause.”

“Mr. Bachchan is India’s original superstar and boasts an enthusiastic social media fan base that spans the globe. The partnership between Mr. Bachchan and IfOnly will further the interaction of fans with their hero, while supporting a noble and charitable cause” added, Rishi Negi, EVP Operations, CA Media India.

About IfOnly

Founded in 2011 by San Francisco-based entrepreneur Trevor Traina, IfOnly exists to enable rare experiences and connections, benefitting worthy causes. IfOnly connects fans with personalities across the worlds of entertainment, sports, food, wine, golf and more, including Madonna, Bruno Mars, Shakira, Kobe Bryant, Joe Montana, chef Tyler Florence, and legendary golfers Greg Norman and Sir Nick Faldo, just to name a few, for experiences created by the individual luminaries exclusively for IfOnly members. Donations are made to the charity of each luminary’s choice for every item and experience sold.

For further information on IfOnly, please contact Kirtee Mehta at 650.575.2341 or

About The Harivansh Rai Bachchan Memorial Trust

The Harivansh Rai Bachchan Memorial Trust is Amitabh Bachchan’s newest major philanthropic effort. Named after Amitabh’s father, the charitable trust is committed to supporting short term relief and disaster programs, as well as long term humanitarian elevation programs in India. The trust will help develop and improve rural communities and uplift young girls across India. The charity’s ideals are rooted in the same principals of Amitabh’s father, which include aiding humanitarian efforts regardless of race, geography, creed or color. The Bachchan family has long supported many noble causes, some of which include: uplifting girls, rural electrification and development, polio awareness, promotion of blood donation and animal welfare. Every penny contributed to the trust will go directly towards charitable causes.

The Harivansh Rai Bachchan Memorial Trust is an Indian charitable trust managed by A B Corporation, Ltd. in Mumbai, India.

About Fluence

As a first step in New Media, Chernin Asia Media (CA Media) has launched India’s leading Online Influencer Network around Celebrities and Brands – “FLUENCE”. Equipped with learning’s and insights from TCG’s dealings in the US, with strategic interest in Pandora, Tumblr, Flipboard and Fullscreen and with Peter Chernin being on the board of Twitter; CA Media has created a model that helps celebrities navigate their social corridor (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr , YouTube etc.) better, thereby communicating and interacting with their fans more effectively. CA Media has signed on Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan (who recently received an award for best use of social media at the Zee Cine Awards) and Karisma Kapoor to manage their digital life which includes; their Social Media presence, their Digital Endorsements, Online/Mobile monetization and Equity-linked investments in the digital space.

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Posted by southasiankids on January 25, 2013 in Uncategorized with No Comments


tional DECA Conference is coming to UT again. Last year Shilpa Gauba presented at trends in Social Media. Come, join in for enriching events.

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Posted by southasiankids on October 22, 2012 in Uncategorized with No Comments

Feeling the disconnect- immigrant parents of American born kids (now called ABCD’s) try harder to fill the culture gap for their children. One of the biggest barriers – “Language” is always sought after. 1st and 2nd generation kids of Asian descendent are assumed to be bi lingual at least if not multi lingual. Coastal states in USA witness many language learning centers, however, in Midwest and Mountain regions, it’s rare.

Feeling the need of parents wanting their kids to be able to read and write in Hindi, a group of parent volunteer organization- called Gurukul in cooperation with the Ganesha Hindu Temple of UT, recently started the Hindi class. The class is taken in Indian Cultural Center building at the Temple. Kids have started learning the varnmala- the letters including the vowels and consonants. Two mom’s – Geeta Bhel and Subhashree teach the class with great enthusiasm. Daughter of a great Hindi teacher from India, Geeta herself is a certified teacher from India. She remembers her mom’s way of teaching Hindi in India and tries to follow that rout,  bridging it with English- for the kids to understand.

Bravo to the teachers handling kids form age of 4 yrs to 15 yrs in the same class, all equally interested in learning. Many questions, many arguments and many learning, but the enthusiasm is felt in every Gurukul household. Parents witness kids sitting to prepare for the Hindi class better than their school Homework. The 4 yr old started pointing to the objects using the first letter of the word – often in Hindi. What a great achievement for just 4 classes till now.

Classes are open to any one who is interested in learning Hindi and are funded by Gurukul parents- thus are free to the students.


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Posted by southasiankids on December 21, 2011 in Uncategorized with No Comments

Salman Khan
Location: California
Who is He: Founder, Khan Academy, a not-for-profit org which provides world-class education online for free.
Why is He Cool: In 2004, Salman, a Harvard and MIT alumni and a hedge fund analyst, began posting math tutorials on YouTube. Since, he has posted more than 2700 vid
eo tutorials, which are viewed nearly 100,000 times around the world each day. It is the most-used educational video repository on the Internet with over 86,568,911 million lessons delivered to-date. The tutorials cover basic addition to advanced calculus, physics, chemistry, biology, history, banking and money, cosmology, astronomy, economics, among other subjects.
What’s Next: Khan academy has received generous support from people such as Reed Hastings, founder, Netflix, Scott Cook, co-founder, Intuit, Google, Bill Gates and the most recent influx of cash came as a $5 million donation from the O’Sullivan Foundation. The fund will be diverted in hiring more teachers and expanding the subjects it
teaches, on “crowdsourcing,” or collecting teaching ideas from people all over the world and on testing other ways of teaching, meaning offline, in a classroom. Its first summer school camp in June 2012 will test some of its teaching ideas using the camp as a laboratory.
Cool Fun Fact: Bill Gates claims to use the Khan Academy Exercise Software to teach his own children.

Source: South asian kids thanks Desi Club for bringing up a great list about the desi’s in USA. Please visit for a very exhaustive list of South Asian personalities.

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