CHS Students Win $5,000 Research Grant

CHELMSFORD, MA – Chelmsford Public Schools is pleased to announce that two juniors from Chelmsford High School, Omprakash Sahoo and Yash Sahoo have recently been awarded a $5,000 research grant from the Marjot Foundation to further develop upon Organic Solar Cells.  

The Marjot Foundation is a nonprofit organization that awards grants to students in New England and New York on an annual basis to support a one year long independent research project focused on environmental issues. 3-5 people are accepted in any given year.  Since 1998, over one hundred high school students from New England and New York have benefitted from awards from the Marjot Foundation. Marjot scholars have been awarded national sciences honors and have gone on to top colleges such as MIT, Brown, Bowdoin, and Amherst to further their scientific education.  Marjot is funded by private donations and foundations that support environmental education at the high school level.

“The hype around Tesla cars and renewable energy confused me when trying to understand why so few people actually had renewable energy,” said Yash Sahoo.

Omprakash Sahoo further explained, “We thought that there had to be a more affordable alternative to silicon solar cells which are crazy expensive to manufacture due to the difficulty of purifying Silicon.”

“We looked into developing a type of Organic Solar Cell which used an organometal instead of silicon and could compete with the silicon standard,” stated Yash Sahoo.

Currently amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, the two students are continuing their studies by reading published papers and taking insight for what can be done next. The lack of laboratory usage hasn’t stopped the two. In addition, they will prepare a mid-year report on their project by October 2020.

The two students were previously awarded with a prize from Sanofi Genzyme for the top research in Chemistry last March. They also entered into the MSEF competition and recently got their research paper, “A Preferential Analysis of Physical Properties in Graphene Oxide Doped PEDOT: PSS Hole Transport Layers” published in the Journal of Advanced Chemical Sciences.

As Marjot Scholars, Omprakash and Yash will work on discovering new methods to improve the efficiency of the novel technology so they can move one step closer to replacing silicon solar cells with their reproducible and cost-effective organic counterparts. They are currently planning to observe the effects of implementing consumable sugar alcohols such as xylitol and sorbitol to further improve their research and findings. 

About Chelmsford Public Schools

The Chelmsford Public School District provides all students with multiple pathways to optimize their own potential for academic excellence, leadership, and social and emotional wellness. The mission of the Chelmsford Public Schools is to educate, engage, prepare, and empower well-rounded and knowledgeable learners to PERSEVERE through challenges, demonstrate RESPECT and INTEGRITY in their words and actions, are DEDICATED to their community, and display EMPATHY as global citizens while discovering and pursuing their full potential.  This PRIDE-driven culture enables all members of the school community to support the growth and development of students.  For more information, please visit