Cloverdale’s Maya Lakhanpal will be competing in the finals of BC Youth Talent Search 2018, showcasing her unique ability — the eight-year-old has memorized the entire periodic table of elements.
Maya is in Grade 4, and science is sort of her thing. She’s transformed her mom’s spice kitchen into a laboratory where she grows crystals and makes slime, she has a dissection kit on her Christmas wish list, and she wants to be a pediatrician or a surgeon when she grows up.
Memorizing the entire periodic table of elements? That’s something she does for fun.
Maya learned it to the tune of AsapSCIENCE’s “The Periodic Table Song.” When Maya’s 17-year-old cousin decided to learn it for fun, Maya thought she would too.
The two didn’t sit down and study it until they knew it by heart — it happened gradually. Over two years, the two cousins would practice when they found the time to get together. By the time Maya was in Grade 3, and her elementary school class first learned about the periodic table of elements by watching a the Bill Nye the Science Guy episode, she had memorized the entire song.
Maya entered the BC Youth Talent Search to share her love of science. “I kind of just wanted to share my knowledge with others, so they could see the scientific elements … the building blocks to everything in the world,” she said.
The audition process was simple — she sent in a video of herself singing. Maya was then chosen by a panel of judges to advance to the semi-finals, where she performed on a stage in front of an audience.
“I was really scared but as I continued it seemed less scary,” she said. “At one point I was kind of, like, shaking. But after a minute I started getting into it and starting feeling comfortable and confident.”
Although the talent search is open to any youth between the ages of 7 and 19 to showcase any talents, Maya’s fellow competitors are mostly singers, dancers and musicians. The winner of the finals, which take place on Nov. 25, will receive performance slots at local events, the opportunity to sign with a talent agent, and a scholarship to a singing and dancing program.
Maya said that if she won, she would be “over the moon happy.” She’s not a big fan of singing and dancing — the one exception being performing The Periodic Table Song — but she likes the idea of trying it out as an extra-curricular activity.