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Two Clarksburg High School Students Named Davidson Fellows

Two Clarksburg High School students, one from Germantown and one from Clarksburg, have been named 2016 The Davidson Institute of Talent Development Fellows and each had received a scholarship.

Anurudh Ganesan, of Clarksburg, won a $25,000 Davidson Fellows Scholarship for his project, VAXXWAGON: An Innovative Eco-Friendly "No Ice, No Electric" Active Refrigeration System for Last-Leg Vaccine Transportation. He is one of only 20 students from across the country to receive this honor.

While Christopher Huh, 17, of Germantown won a $10,000 Davidson Fellows Scholarship for his portfolio, History's Lessons. Again, he is one of only 20 students from across the country to receive this honor.

The 16-year-old Ganesan, calls his system VAXXWAGON, a refrigeration system that keeps vaccines cool at 2-8° Celsius without electricity. Instead, it uses mechanical energy that can maintain the proper temperature while being towed behind someone on foot, on bike, or horseback.

“It is a culmination of countless hours of hard work and self-discipline with my project that allowed me to be considered, and ultimately accepted as a Davidson Fellow,” said Anurudh Ganesan. “This honor will continue to motivate me to work on VAXXWAGON to one day soon, save lives.” Since life-saving vaccines often do not last long enough to reach remote clinics and villages, Ganesan was inspired to design a last-leg transport system for vaccines.

Ganesan has a vested personal interest in his project as well. When he was an infant, his grandparents carried him 10 miles to a remote clinic in Southern India in order to get him vaccinated. When they arrived, the vaccines were useless due to the lack of safe refrigeration and high temperatures.

Fifteen years later, Ganesan discovered this is still a serious problem and decided to take matters into his own hands to find a solution. In addition to his love of physics and mechanics, Ganesan enjoys playing tennis and hanging out with friends. He plays the piano and volunteers for TeamSaij.org, a nonprofit that raises money and awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Ganesan is a rising senior at Clarksburg High School.

Anurudh’s ultimate goal is to see VAXXWAGON in the field actively saving lives. VAXXWAGON can do much more than safely store and transport vaccines. It can reduce the burden on many remote villages that need the scarce resources often used for last-leg vaccine transportation such as water and electricity. VAXXWAGON is a social equalizer. No matter what age, race, or gender, viable vaccines can save lives. It can help lead to peace by reducing the burden on national healthcare systems and save lives. For Anurudh, VAXXWAGON is a success when it saves one life.

He plans to major in business and finance after high school and continue his focus in mechanical engineering and computer science. His ultimate goal is to see VAXXWAGON in the field actively saving lives.