BANA Academic Fest 2018

Bihar Association of North America (BANA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, hosted its showcase event, BANA Academic Fest-2018 on August 25, at Houston Community College, Stafford. The mission of BANA has been to preserve and promote social and cultural heritage of India by fostering academic and cultural excellence among children in USA. It has been a great achievement for BANA to successfully organize this event for 20 years.

The Academic Fest is an event where students ranging from grade 1 to 12 compete in multiple categories. This year about 150 students participated in Primary (Grade 1-3), Elementary (Grade 4-5), Middle (Grade 6-8), and High (Grade 9-12) school sections in Math, Spelling Bee, Vocabulary, Science, Art/Coloring, SAT Practice Test, Speech and Debate categories.

Academic Fest allows students to stay engaged in academic activities and keep motivated/challenged during summer. It also provides a competitive platform to prepare for the upcoming school-year. In recent years BANA Academic Fest has become a community tradition recognized for promoting academic enrichment and professionalism among our next generation.

BANA Mock-SAT-Exam was sponsored by TestMasters. Spelling Bee testing for Elementary/Primary groups was coordinated by Dr. Ganesh Dasari and team of volunteers. Elementary/Middle school Science and Math tests came from TMSCA. Grading was computerized to enable fast and accurate test grading and coordinated by Amit Kumar. ExxonMobil and GSI Environmental Inc. are some of the key sponsors of BANA.

BANA Academic Fest started at 8:00AM and concluded around 4:00PM. The lead organizers of this year’s event were Atul Sinha, Rakesh Sinha and Santosh Jha. They were helped by several lead coordinators/volunteers who worked hard to make this event successful. Additionally, several non-BANA personnel graciously contributed their time to serve as judges/evaluators.

The event began with welcome by BANA President Dr. Santosh Verma and youth-representative Abhiraj Sinha. They highlighted the Mission and key achievements of BANA in past 25 years. Students/parents were also briefed about the exam schedule/rules. Subsequently, students were led to respective events/rooms by event coordinators.

Participants break for lunch around noon. The contest continued after the break with brisk speed. The event closed with the final round of the High School debate “On balance, the benefits of United States participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement outweigh the consequences”. The finalists Anurag Routray and Tony Jha presented their opinion and arguments with concrete facts and debated in a respectable/professional manner in a close contest.

Dr. Santosh Verma thanked and congratulated all organizers, volunteers, judges and sponsors for their help/support for a successful Academic Fest-2018. He tendered his special congratulations to all the winners and participants. The current India Culture Center President, Nisha Mirani also addressed and congratulated all students participated in the fest.

Awards were given for top three (3) position in each category for each grade. One Top-Gun award was also presented in each section. Top-Gun award recipients of this year are Akshita Cheraku (Primary), Srisamhita Ponnapalli (Elementary), Adarsh Agrawal (Middle) and Ethan Jiang (High).

As the awards were distributed, a crowd crescendo welcomed the winners to accept their accolades which came in the way of a trophy, certificates and a firm reassuring handshake from distinguished presenters Vijay Singh, Madhusudan Choudhary, Ram Mohan Malik, Chandeshwar Sharma, Santosh Jha, Ravi Kant Choudhary, and Bijay Kumar Singh.

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