AZ teens celebrated at White House Science Fair
Today, Arizona student science winners will be recognized at the 2015 White House Science Fair. President Obama will be the emcee and celebrate the range of winners from science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country.
Anvita Gupta, 17, from Scottsdale Arizona, is a strong advocate for getting girls into science. Since she started an after-school computer science group to teach middle school grirls programming and app development, forty girls enrolled in the first year.
Gupta’s exhibit will show her research and machine learning approach to identify new drugs to be used to fight cancer, tuberculoisis and Ebola. More specifically, she combined artificial intelligence techniques, 3D visualization, and biomimicry to “teach” a computer to discover which drugs might inhibit the interactions of intrinsically disordered proteins with other proteins. These proteins make up 70 percent of all cancer proteins and are mutated in tuberculosis and Ebola.
Gupta’s research earned her Third Place Medal of Distinction for Global Good at the 2015 Intel Science Talent Search.
The next group of students are from the Carl Hayden Community High School Robotics Team-a school with a long-standing tradition of winning robotics competition. Their impact on the robotic world began in 2004, where a few high school underdogs built underwater robots and beat MIT in a competition.
Phoenix high school seniors, Sergio Corral (17) and Isela Martinez (17) are the president and vice president, respectively, of the Carl Hayden Robotics Team.
Two films were released in 2014 about the historic Carl Hayden Robotics Team. Underwater Dreams chronicles the story of the infamous MIT win, and features Sergio and Isela. Spare Parts was released in the theaters about the underdogs taking the win as well and features George Lopez, Jamie Lee Curtis, Carlos PenaVega and Marisa Tomei.
Carl Hayden Robotics, is a member of the FIRST Hall of Fame, has won four consecutive Arizona FIRST Robotics regional competitions – and they compete in the prestigious AUVSI Robosub competition against universities.
According to the White House press release, President Obama will also announce over $240 million in new private sector commitments to help boys and girls from under-represented and are inspired and prepared to build their STEM skills.
The White House reported the President’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign has resulted in over $1 billion in financial and in-kind support for STEM programs.
If you are interested in getting your child interested in STEM, check out the AZ SciTech Festival events and our calendar for workshops.
Contributions from The White House
Graphics courtesy of Spare Parts, Underwater Dreams & The White House