Competition Born Out of Desire to Inspire Innovation in Research During COVID Pandemic

RICHMOND, Va. – August 18, 2020 – The MEDARVA Foundation – a local nonprofit with a long history of sponsoring innovative ideas focusing on scientific research – has announced the middle school and high school winners of its Second Annual Virtual Science Fair.

MEDARVA’s idea for the Virtual Science Fair was born out of the desire to keep students involved and inspired in science after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools in 2020. Last year’s competition generated about 50 entries and this year 77 students submitted entries. Representatives of the MEDARVA Foundation judged each entry and selected the following winners:

Senior Division Winners:

Konidale Laasya, Senior Division Champion from Mills E Godwin High School

Joshua Alexander, 2nd Place in the Senior Division from Deep Run High School

Nitya Kumar, tied for 3rd Place in the Senior Division from Douglas S. Freeman High School

Anika Kashyap, tied for 3rd Place in the Senior Division from Mills E. Godwin High School

Junior Division Winners:

Camellia Sharma, Junior Division Champion from George H. Moody Middle School

Tess Vithoulkas, 2nd Place from Moody Middle School

• Sanaya Bothra, 3rd Place from Moody Middle School

“The innovation these students bring to research and science is an inspiration to us all,” said Cheryl Jarvis, chair of the MEDARVA Foundation. “We hope that for many of these students, this competition will validate their hard work and encourage them to pursue education and careers that have a positive impact to our society and the world.”

Students were asked to investigate an interesting topic and submit a summary, an experiment design diagram, and a short video highlighting the project. They worked for the chance to win several monetary awards including: $1,500 for first place – in both the middle school and high school categories. Second place received $1,000 and third place $500.

The MEDARVA Foundation has a long history of supporting beginning stage research projects that encourage medical researchers to find solutions to health care problems. Over the past 15 years, MEDARVA has provided more than $5 million in funding for research projects.

More information about the science fair can be found at:


About MEDARVA Healthcare

As the second oldest continuously operating healthcare provider in Richmond, Virginia, and one of the largest outpatient surgery programs in the nation, MEDARVA Healthcare provides excellence in outpatient care at MEDARVA Stony Point Surgery Center, MEDARVA West Creek Surgery Center, MEDARVA Imaging, MEDARVA Low Vision Center, and through the MEDARVA Foundation. More information available at