PLYMOUTH — A Wayzata High School senior has received a Mining for Excellence scholarship from PolyMet.

Preeti Pidatala was awarded a $5,000 scholarship, PolyMet said in a March 11 news release. Pidatala plans to pursue a career in computer science, with the release noting she was drawn to puzzles and logic-based games at a young age before becoming involved in the robotics team, Junior Academy and other STEM extracurricular activities, the release said.

Her involvement in such activities helped her earn the Aspirations in Computing award from the National Center for Women in Computing, the release noted.

Pidatala was among three Minnesota seniors to be awarded scholarships from PolyMet. The others are Mikayla Mellesmoen and Sophie Lenz, both of Northeast Range School in Babbitt. The each received $2,500 in scholarship money.

“We are proud to help young people who plan to study and work in these academically challenging but rewarding fields,” Jon Cherry, PolyMet president and CEO said in a statement. “Students like Preeti, Mikayla and Sophie are smart, motivated and full of potential. They clearly see how more education in STEM will help them make a difference in the world.”

Cherry added, “We look forward to students like these making contributions to business and industry — hopefully some will even make their marks in mining, where we highly value STEM talents.”

More than 50 students applied for the scholarship, the release notes. The winners of the scholarship were recognized during intermission at the Minnesota State High School Boys’ Hockey Tournament on March 8.

Melissa Turtinen is the multimedia reporter for Lakeshore Weekly News. She's passionate about adding context to stories and informing people about what's going on in their community. She enjoys being outside, traveling and good beer.

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