Student Spotlight: Indira Roy

Monday, November 20th, 2017


Indira Roy Showing Project

Chatham High School Senior Indira Roy is accomplished. Very accomplished. In fact, that’s an understatement. She has already achieved far more in her short lifetime than the average person does over the course of their entire lifetime - being selected as one of 400 delegates to the 2016 Global Youth Institute (where she got to discuss her findings on hydroponics in India with international experts on agricultural and food issues), placing second in last year’s prestigious Princeton Energy Case Competition and, most recently, becoming a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. Indira is also the President of Research Club and, from what I hear, a talented musician. But how is she able to manage it all? I sat down with Indira to find out.

Rhea Sinha: How’s senior year going?

Indira Roy: Senior year is going pretty well. It doesn’t really feel any different from other years, though.

RS: What’s your favorite class?

IR: Hmm, I can’t choose just one favorite class because they’re all interesting (and because I can be pretty indecisive). It’s awesome how many course offerings we have at our school.

RS: How did you first get involved in research?

IR: In 2011, the year the global population reached 7 billion, I had read and heard about issues that will become even more significant than they already were at the time. Over the next couple of years, I became especially interested in food security because it seemed central to everything people were talking about—sustainable energy, human health, urbanization, and even space travel.

RS: How did you know what you wanted to research?

IR: I wanted to research something that had both personal and greater significance. I chose to focus on hydroponics for poor farmers near Hyderabad, India, because much of my family lives there and that population seemed likely to benefit the most from research into low-cost alternative agriculture.

RS: Do you plan on continuing with research in college? After college?

indira roy

IR: Yes and yes!

RS: What’s the main thing you aim to accomplish with your research?

IR: I want to be able to improve people’s lives and any small impact will make me happy.

RS: What’s it like being the leader of Research Club?

IR: It’s pretty cool. This is my first year leading a relatively large club and it’s great how that gives us the opportunities to work both in groups and individually and to hear lots of different voices and ideas.

RS: What’s your favorite thing about CHS?

IR: There’s a lot of support available for CHS students. Teachers, peers, and counselors always encourage you to do your best and help you get there.

RS: Of all the places you’ve lived, which one has been your favorite?

IR: What would happen if I didn’t say Chatham? Haha, I don’t have a favorite because each place I’ve lived (of the three that I have been old enough to remember) has been pretty unique. Scenery-wise, the tree-covered mountains of West Virginia were beautiful in the fall, the shores of Lake Michigan were the best places to spend summers in Illinois, and springtime in New Jersey proves that we really do live in the Garden State. Also, nice people are nice everywhere, so getting along with people has never been an issue.

RS: I hear you’re also a talented musician. What instrument(s) do you play?

IR: I’m not exactly talented, but do play the alto saxophone at school. And although I don’t practice now, I did play the violin for several years.