Howard County Times
Howard County

Scientific research kept youth busy this summer [Clarksville]

If you're like me, you may have relaxed at the beach or by the pool this summer. Jacob Chandran, a 2017 graduate of River Hill High School, had more ambitious plans. He recently returned from Israel, where he spent four weeks conducting advanced scientific research at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Chandran was one of 19 teens from the United States selected to participate in the annual Bessie F. Lawrence International Summer Science Institute (ISSI). He received a full scholarship to this prestigious program, which accepts only one in five applicants. The program gives students the opportunity to conduct research with world-renowned scientists in biology, chemistry, mathematics and computer science.


"The value of my four weeks at ISSI is priceless," said Chandran, who will attend the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill this fall. "I learned from some of the greatest scientists and mentors I have ever met, and worked in a lab that is on the cutting edge of eye research. My lab experience taught me how to integrate two of the most influential fields in the world, computer science and neuroscience."

The participants from the United States joined 60 other young scientists from around the world in experiencing the challenges and rewards of working alongside top researchers. Chandran also enjoyed the opportunity to learn about life in Israel. "It was amazing to be able to journey around such a sacred and historical place," he said.


In the national spotlight is local bakery Kupcakes & Co. The business, which opened a new location in Clarksville Commons this summer, will make its second appearance on the television show 'Cake Hunters' on The Cooking Channel. Tune in to see the Kupcakes & Co. team as they compete in "A Glamping Wedding." The episode about a couple planning a "rustic meets glam" wedding debuts Friday, Sept. 1, at 10 p.m.

A local event will focus on the Chesapeake Bay watershed and how citizens can do simple things to help maintain its health. WatershedPalooza will be held Saturday, Sept. 16, from noon to 2 p.m., at Claret Hall, 6020 Daybreak Circle. The free, educational program will include activities for all ages, such as making bird feeders and toad houses, painting faces and playing games to win prizes. Presentation topics will include recycling and composting, stream buffers and wildlife, bay-friendly gardening, invasive species and water runoff.

The event is open to the public and sponsored by the River Hill Watershed Advisory Committee and the River Hill Community Association. Pre-registration is requested by Sept. 1. Call 410-531-1749 or email

The organizers are in need of T-shirts for a recycling craft project. Donate your old, short- or long-sleeve, adult-size T-shirts at Claret Hall through Sept. 2. Shirts can be plain or have designs but cannot be stained or torn.