2020 Scholarship Recipients
Andrew’s high school experience has been filled with vast experiences covering multiple technology fields. As a freshman, he took advantage of an opportunity to job shadow an Engineer at Barreto Manufacturing, where he learned about designing in CAD and using a 3-D printer to see the design come to life. Through this skill set and knowledge, Andrew built a glider, as well as his “own computer using individually selected parts.” As Andrew’s high school experience unfolded, he also learned video game design during his junior and senior years, learning new skills such as Unity engine, Python and human model design in Blender. Andrew plans to pursue a degree in Computer Science, with a minor in Mathematics, at Boise State.
Andrew applied these skills he’s acquired throughout his high school career in building his own 3-D printer from scratch and using his own design. With guidance from a teacher, his school’s Technician, and YouTube, Andrew successfully programmed his own firmware, machined the metal in his father’s machine shop, designed the printer in CAD, and “printed” the parts using the school’s 3-D printer. This experience designing and developing resources from 3-D printing has inspired Andrew to apply this resource to his farming community. With the use of 3-D printers to easily replace fragile components of drones, drone sensors, and accurate data, Andrew’s idea that farmers could “survey and map crop production would be a huge asset when helping to conserve valuable water resources.”
Olivia initially discovered her talent in coding when she won a contest in analog coding concepts using physical blocks, which led to her being selected as a student representative for the Career and Technical Education Foundation by the State Department of Education. She continued her passion for coding by joining GenCyber camp, being selected as a “code checker” in class, and becoming a member of Hermanas in Code, a group that introduces Latina girls to STEM-related careers. Olivia is pursuing a 4-year game-design degree in hopes of becoming a production artist and technician to develop games for both entertainment and education.
As an artist and coder, Olivia has impressive plans to combine these two skills to produce interactive gaming environments to help those in need. As her family struggled with the economic recession and she suffered from poor study habits, Olivia had to develop grit and perseverance in her coursework and interests. She discovered her potential and began winning multiple state-wide art contests in digital art, watercolors, mask-making, and acrylics, code a game, raise money for blood cancer research, and became a HOBY leader. An example of Olivia’s compassion to use her skill to help others was demonstrated by her desire to help rural communities increase their access to remote learning. Specifically, she believes needs to be addressed is a “serious lack of access to justice in rural, remote, or low socio-economic areas of the United States. I envision creating a simulated or virtual courtroom forum that would mimic a traditionally in-person experiential moot court training for lawyers.”
Kevin’s interest in programming & computer science began in the 6th grade with Scratch. At an early age, Kevin began looking for opportunities to apply his knowledge about computer science to practical experiences and experiential learning. Summer internships at UW Medicine & Boston University CS Department provided Kevin with a supportive community of researchers who deepened his interest in computer science and its ability to bring about positive change.
After these experiences, Kevin began dedicating more time outside of school looking for technological solutions to improve the lives around him. Through mobile and web application development and sleepless weekend hackathons coding with friends, he and his peers collaborated on creating education-based applications to resolve problems students were experiencing, such as a trivia game design to aid in test preparation and an app with 230 downloads that helps students organize their reading schedules by maintaining a digital library.
Kevin will be pursuing a 4-year degree in Computer Science, with the hope of pursuing his interest in database systems research.
Avraham Lance is a senior at Liberty High School in Hillsboro, Oregon who will attend the University of Oregon where he plans to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. His technical expertise was gained through a variety of sources, including high school courses, personal projects–such as a Raspberry Pi 0 Linux media server–online tutorials, and mentors and peers from the First Robotics team, AEMBOT. Through these means, he learned how to program in Python, Java, work in Linux & SSH, how to build PCs, and set up servers. He worked with another robotics programmer to develop the control system for an omnidirectional drivetrain called “differential swerve.” Avraham’s team submitted this project to the Hillsboro-Beaverton Science Expo where it won 2nd Place in the Robotics & Computer Science category and qualified Avraham’s team for the Northwest Science Expo where they placed 3rd in Robotics & Computer Science. This component was also used by the AEMBOT robotics team for this year’s First Tech Challenge robot; with this robot, Avraham’s AEMBOT team won the Inspire Award, qualifying the team for the world’s competition in Houston.
Avraham has been able to apply these development and design skills to his community service work. He has served as a peer tutor in classes ranging from algebra to calculus-based physics. He brought his robotics expertise to West Union Elementary school where he taught students to program their own robots and prepare for competitions at a pivotal point in their lives. Avraham is a 2nd Generation Descendant of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe White Earth Nation and has experienced firsthand how Indigenous people can be connected to their tribe but lose access to cultural beliefs and practices. Avraham believes technology can be used to record and share cultural practices that might otherwise be lost or not easily shared with tribal members.
Savitha’s “study breaks” include browsing PubMed & Github as frequently as her social media accounts. She especially loves exploring research papers on artificial intelligence and machine learning. As she developed her programming skills in Python, Java, C++ and other languages, Savitha applied this learning to the problems currently challenging the biomedicine world and discovered a passion in “developing innovative CS+Bio solutions to address challenges in precision medicine.“ Savitha has independently worked on several research projects such as developing a low-cost, automated tool to accurately diagnose melanoma and also interned at research labs. She has earned recognition for her research from the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and Regeneron Science Talent Search. Most recently, Savitha interned at the Harvard Medical School/Dana Farber Cancer Institute Computational Biology Department as a 2019 Research Science Institute Scholar where she performed single-cell RNA sequence data analysis and developed machine learning models to advance fundamental cancer research. Savitha plans to pursue a PhD in computational biology and join a research lab or a health-technology focused startup.
2019 Scholarship Recipients
Vikram Kashyap began with self-taught C programming in middle school and progressed to dual credit CS and C++ programming courses in high school. Vikram enjoyed programming so much that he discovered an abandoned project at his high school called SunRover that involved programming an autonomous robot who could navigate the halls of Sunset High School to deliver papers and resurrected the project. The SunRover Project is one of many noteworthy projects Virkam has successfully participated in during his high school career. The project that caught the scholarship committee’s attention was Vikram’s participation, and his role specifically in pulling the project together, in a student-driven High School Autonomous Vehicle Project (AVP-HS, avp-hs.org), which was recognized on the global stage at AutSens 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. Vikram planning for both an undergraduate degree & Ph.D. in physics with a focus on quantum computing.
Noah Chaney has taken advantage of computer classes like Manufacturing & Engineering Technologies and Computer Science offered at his high school and even applied his technological skills to other classes, including creating games, simulators, and coding of formulas on his TI-84 Plus in his math class. With his love for Arduino microcontrollers, Noah learned the complexity of making CNC machines and 3-D printers and is currently “in the process of making a 3-in-1 CNC 3D printer that will do laser engraving, CNC milling, and 3D printing interchangeably.”
Noah’s teachers recognized his skill set and invited him to become a peer tutor and co-teach a computer science class within his high school. Additionally, Noah finds various ways to give back to his community through his volunteer technical support work, thrift store hours salvaging through equipment to find usable technology to repurpose for others at minimal cost, and bargain shopping for others online earning him “Amazon Affiliate” status.
Eshika Saxena is a senior at Interlake High School in Bellevue, WA. She developed an early interest in technology as a regular participant in FLL robotics competitions and expanded her knowledge through summer programs/internships at the University of Washington’s Ubiquitous Computing Lab, Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, Apple Engineering Technology Camp, and Research Sciences Institute at MIT. Eshika is interested in the application of artificial intelligence technology to making telemedicine a reality. She has developed several innovative solutions that have been recognized nationally/internationally with awards from Regeneron Science Talent Search, Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) and National Junior Science & Humanities Symposium. To share her passion for technology, Eshika has co-founded a 501c(3), a not-for-profit organization, TakeKnowledGe, to encourage children, girls, in particular, to experience STEM through fun and engaging activities. Eshika is a black belt in Taekwondo, National Music Level 8 certified in Piano, and loves to travel, dance, and read in her spare time.
Eshika’s tenacity and future success are evident in two of the projects she shared. She not only “designed a “Power-Bracelet” that harvests energy from the human body to power wearable-devices and extend the battery life of cell-phones” because she was tired of her own smartphone’s battery not lasting a full day, but she also developed a “HemCam” app that, coupled with a $2 microscope for mobile phones, can help detect hematological diseases using a personal smartphone and blood sample.
Kevin Jin loves to see the world through “logic-tinted lenses,” which sparked him to begin pursuing his Computer Science career in 9th grade. His multitude of accomplishments includes: reaching “Platinum” division in the USA Computing Olympiad (USACO), receiving individual National 1st place in the American Computer Science League (ACSL) competition, reaching the international finals of Zero Robotics (ZR) four times, and a cybersecurity internship at PSU. The most impactful experience for Kevin was his research project in quantum computing with Professor Perkowski at PSU (see link), a project that helped him become a Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar, one of the top 300 high school scientists in the nation.
Kevin shared with us his natural ability to teach through his many programming classes for middle schoolers. He took extra time to reach out and connect with a disengaged student, which resulted in this student flourishing and becoming one of Kevin’s strongest students who learned to enjoy programming and find success in competitions. More importantly, he inspired many young students to pursue future academics and careers in computer science.
The early acquisition of these skills allowed for two major opportunities for Pranav in high school: researcher at the Molecular Information Systems Lab (MISL) and the development of a game that teaches elementary and middle school students about net zero homes, called “Net Zero.”
Finally, with these skills and a desire to tackle problems, Pranav took the initiative to develop an app that gamified the identification of chemical compounds through qualitative analysis to assist his peers (and teachers) with a chemistry assignment. The success of his app was recognized not only by other science teachers, but he was also able to present his app in front of the US Congress as an example of how learning can be fun.
2018 Scholarship Recipients
Veenadhari Kollipara has had a high school career full of technology-rich opportunities. Beginning with an AP computer science class in 9th grade, Veenadhari continued to seek out opportunities to enrich her education, including amazing experiences such as Coding4Medicine Bioinformatics training at Bellevue college, hackathons and an internship at Ubiquitous computer lab at the University of Washington.
Additionally, Veenadhari started a nonprofit called GETSET (Girls Excelling in Technology, Science, and Engineering for better Tomorrow) where girls conducted complex experiments including solar-powered carts, windmills, and dye-sensitive solar cells. As a hardworking student, the project Veenadhari shared in her scholarship application was not only amazing but was applicable to a global audience.
Her project consisted of building a drone that was capable of helping farmers manage their crop production more efficiently. The drone was designed to take soil samples that helped farmers managed their farm with real-time data.
Jay Patel “fell into” programming with the creation of his first website. Surprisingly to Jay, this initial website development received high recognition, which was enough to get him hooked into programming. For Jay, programming began as something he enjoyed by being challenged, but quickly grew into a skill he found useful to express his creativity.
Jay’s drive and persistence paid off when he was able to convince his parents to travel to San Francisco, California to participate in a programming boot camp, where he created his first app and met his two mentors. Jay’s project was simple, yet delightfully applicable: he built an app called CardCart that helped his mom save receipts and cut down on wallet bulk. The apps have received 700 downloads from the App store to date.
Amongst other accomplishments, Jay received Central Oregon’s Youngest Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016. Jay comes from a small town in Oregon and will be a first-generation college student!
Nathan Faber has had a huge impact on his school community. In the small, rural district in Pleasant Hill, Oregon, Nathan found “limited technology-related options” as he began his high school career. Rather than accepting this as his reality, Nathan changed it. Nathan founded Pleasant Hill High School’s first FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) robotics team, which won Oregon State Championship THREE times and attended the World Championships in Houston, TX. With the grant money the FTC robotics team received,
Nathan has helped allocate these funds towards the purchase of 3D printers and CNC machines for his high school, expanding the opportunities for other students. To make this program sustainable, Nathan is teaching his teachers how to use these devices and incorporate them independently into their curriculum so that the program can continue to grow without him in the future. Nathan’s has not only worked through the District’s IT Department during the summer months, but his success also allowed him to continue his employment into the school year and build a partnership between high school students and the District.
Additionally, he continued to expand his knowledge by taking online Computer Science courses through his community college. Nathan’s success and drive to improve technology education options at his high school are evident in the opportunities he helped developed for future students.
Joshua’s scholarship application caught the attention of the Scholarship Review Committee within the first paragraph by the remarkably clear vision of his future: “I am a self-taught programmer. My goal is to graduate in 2027 with a Ph.D. in Computer Vision applied to Robotics.
This has been my goal since 2010…” Joshua would have been in ~4th grade in 2010! Joshua’s K-12 technology career began in in middle school. By age 16, he was living independently in his own apartment in Portland, OR, working as a paid Autodesk intern where he was programming with a robotic simulator on the BXD: Synthesis team.
Joshua’s accomplishments are vast and varied, including teaching robotics camps to middle schoolers, leading a Girls coding group at his high school, participating on a university ten-person IGEM team and an impressive award for Most Inspirational Player on the Bellarmine Varsity Football Team.
Zoe Sheill spends every day after school programming apps on her own and at her internship at Pioneer Square Labs. Her love for computer science begins with an online course she completed in 8th grade. Zoe is not only an accomplished programmer but also an accomplished flutist.
These two skills resulted in the development of an app she wrote to schedule band rehearsals for her 300 member band at her high school. In addition, Zoe founded the company TokkiTech and created an app called WeTutor with her all-girl programming team. WeTutor connects students with tutors. Zoe plans to major in computer science, with a focus in artificial intelligence.
2017 Scholarship Recipients
Bemnet won second place in “Hack the CD” Seattle Hackathon, creating Puplert.com, a website to search for lost dogs.
Bemnet is excited to learn how to expand her technological humanitarian footprint into international settings by using this scholarship to attend a university and double major in international relations and computer science.
While his “traditional” computer experiences were extensive, he also stepped “outside the box” to try something new. In his own words “ Maybe my friends and counselors were right. Maybe AP Studio Art wasn’t for me. Most of them didn’t think I could make it through the hardest art class at my school. I had signed up for AP Studio Art because I was curious: “What could I do in a class with that much creative freedom?” Failing my first assignment answered that question: “Not much.” Apparently, my critics were right. I wondered, what if I could turn my strengths and interests into art? What if I could use computer programming as my medium? I could represent numbers, lists, loops, logic, and math with lines, shapes, and colors. Through programming, I could teach the computer to visually explain its algorithms. So I started my Visualization Portfolio.” He went onto develop his work and though initially rebuked, submitted the work to the College Board for the AP Studio Art Portfolio review. Emmett plans to attend a four-year college and major in electrical and computer or mechanical engineering.
David works with Mission: Citizen, a student-directed 501(c)(3) nonprofit that prepares immigrants for the Citizenship and Immigration Services’ naturalization test. He began volunteering by occasionally teaching classes, then stepped up to led an eight-week, fifty-person class during his junior year. This year, he oversees Mission: Citizen’s online and social media presence, and also work on numerous projects with the Executive Director. David also participated in an Apprenticeships in Science and Engineering (ASE) internship, I jointly developed an app that seeks correlations between health data and outside factors under Professor Nirupama Bulusu at Portland State University.
David plans to attend college to study a science-related field. Currently, he is considering chemistry, physics, chemical engineering or computer science.
By far the biggest influence on his engineering endeavors was his experience in 3D printing which began during his internship at Dynamic Robotics Laboratory on the Oregon State University campus. He was responsible for improving their 3D printer; this entailed diagnosing a problem’s origin, researching possible solutions, and making necessary modifications to improve the machine’s performance.
Following his DRL internship, he used his recently accumulated experience to build his own 3D printer. After two months of construction, the first prints resembled plastic spaghetti. Needless to say, that was not the intended outcome. Numerous problems, including a mislabeled thermistor port, a faulty stepper motor, and a delta arm failure, led to several days of research, testing, updating software, and replacing hardware. In the end, he created an accurate and reliable 3D printer for under $500 whose capabilities challenge those of its more expensive counterparts.
He recently used his 3D printer to create essential parts for the competition robot of his high school’s FRC
Team, CV Robotics. For example, there was no way to fasten the camera used for precision movement control onto the robot; therefore, he designed and 3D printed a mount which securely held the camera, cord, and LED lights on the robot while protecting them from damage. Joshua plans to attend Oregon State University to major in Mechanical and Electrical engineering and participate in two internships awarded through MECOP.
During her high school career, Elizabeth Larson has taken every Honors science class offered up by her school. Among them being Honors Physics, Chemistry, Integrated Science, Biology, Computer Science,, and Advanced STEM Research (ASR). Specifically, ASR is a yearlong class in which students think of real-world applicable science research topics. ASR encourages independent research. These ideas are put to the test by collecting and analyzing data.
Odessa is a rural town, 45 minutes from any sort of larger city. In order to stay connected to the outside world, technology becomes vital. About three years ago, the librarian was looking for someone willing to devote some time, teaching computer skills. Because of her skills, Elizabeth began volunteering 1-2 hours a week. Additionally, she used her knowledge of technology to set up an “Hour of Code” night. It helps teach students and parents how to code and understand the basics of a computer. She has also used technology to help promote, create maps, and educational supplies for our town’s Crater Loop’s Trail. Understanding the connection between her community and technology, she created a program which corresponds with any smartphone or cellphone texting application. The user is able to text a phone number, which will be programmed to place online orders from stores they preselected. Her initial idea dealt with ordering pizzas for delivery. However, her focus is now turning toward using this in her community. Odessa has a large population of “shut-ins” who are unable to pick up supplies around town when needed. Connecting these people to the businesses in the community means helping to the town economy and also those who need it most. Elizabeth plans to attend Gonzaga University and major in computer science.
2016 Scholarship Recipients
2015 Scholarship Recipients
Franklin HS, Portland Public Schools, Portland, OR
After “hearing” announcements over their high school’s archaic PA system, Dustin and the other members of his app development team focus an app to replace the system. Originally a mobile website, the FHS app was turned into a native app using Adobe’s PhoneGap software. It enables students to receive personalized announcements about classes, clubs, sports, and the faculty, as well as the daily bulletin. It also includes various resources such as links to Franklin’s website, schedules and a calendar. Dustin continues to strive to improve the app.
The Catlin Gabel School, Portland, OR
Valerie has conducted scientific research projects on energy technologies such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and solar panels (2013 Google Science Fair Top 15 Global Finalist); was invited to CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, as part of the Intel International Science Fair CERN award, where she discussed large-scale computing and particle accelerator technology with CERN scientists; worked full-time as a summer Software Developer Intern at Intel; was one of 83 students selected internationally for the RSI (Research Science Institute); and worked under MIT Professor Alfredo Alexander-Katz. Her research is now focused on developing novel algorithms to identify the highest-efficiency quantum dot materials for quantum dot solar cells.
Granite Falls High School, Granite Falls SD, Granite Falls, WA
Dansil has spent her high school career learning and leading with the “Shop Girls,” an all-female team charged with the task of building a fuel-efficient car for the Shell Eco-marathon Americas race, held every year in April. Her freshman year found her part of an all-new team. In her sophomore year, she became the manager and driver. Over the past three years, she has helped guide her team in building a new car and winning the prized Safety Award twice. Her leadership skills have also translated to the creation of a nonprofit and now business, Today’s Educational Community Outreach (TECO). Currently, TECO is working with Dansil’s local Boys & Girls Club to promote Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) in her community.
Pullman HS, Pullman SD, Pullman, WA
One day in Bryan’s broadcasting class, he learned about a series of emails his teacher found regarding long-forgotten football teams at his high school. Selecting this as an article topic, he began researching the time period, 1953. Finding that the football story was indeed a lost part of his town’s history, he embarked on what became a two-year, technologically challenging project whose final outcome was a documentary, “The Streak.” Bryan interviewed players, coaches, and cheerleaders from that time, created a website for the interviews and other photos and information, and created and debuted the documentary, all utilizing his technology skills.
Newport High School, Bellevue SD, Bellevue, WA
Although her first formal introduction to technology wasn’t until high school, Alexandra has been fascinated with computers her whole life, and would often spend hours teaching herself how to use different programs. In particular, she likes to integrate technology with her other passions: “Last year, I embarked on a massive project integrating technology with my passion for music,” she explains. Utilizing MuseScore software, she arranged six songs into a score with 28 different parts, experimenting with various instrumentation and working late into the night perfecting harmonies that resulted in a seven-minute masterpiece for her school’s band.
2014 Scholarship Recipients
Bethel HS, Bethel SD, Spanaway, WA
Ewurama is a multilingual, community service-oriented student. Beyond typical robotics club participation, she has taken robotics out to the community to showcase how everyone can be involved in technology. “Through my engineering degree I hope to travel to Third World countries and improve their conditions,” she says, “which would let me give back to the community I came from, such as going back to my country of origin, Ghana, and improving the community there.”
Sunset HS, Beaverton SD, Beaverton, OR
Jeanine created a preschool/kindergarten program, “Learning Steps,” which received the Professional’s Choice Award at the Oregon Game Project Challenge (OGPC). She also developed, sought funding for and implemented Females Advancing Computing and Technology (FACT) camp, for 8th-grade girls, to encourage them to participate in technology in high school. “I’ve always known that computer science was the subject area for me because it continually seemed to click,” she says. “From when my mother taught me about ALICE [Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity] in 5th grade, to my computer simulation for the class science fair in 6th grade, to programming games on my calculator in 8th grade, to taking programming classes in high school, and finally to trying to get more girls to take CS courses, I’ve always managed to find a way to incorporate computer science into my life.”
Olympia HS, Olympia SD, Olympia, WA
Brennan is a self-trained programmer who founded a local high school programming club, as none was available. He created a major portion of the new TechYES site: the GenYES site, which provides infrastructure for turning a classroom of students into a schoolwide IT support team. The code base for TechYES.org adds up to over 59,000 lines of code, over half of which were written by Brennan. “I see life as a set of problems,” he says. “This may seem like a pessimistic view of the world, but I prefer to interpret it as a reflection of my interest in finding solutions.”
Kentridge HS, Kent SD, Kent, WA
Tracy is a member of the Student Technology Educational Partnerships program in Kent SD. As part of a Microsoft camp, she created Date Savior, an app to solve a real-world problem: saving people from terrible dates. She also received a perfect score on her AP Calculus exam. “Every acquisition of knowledge begins with a bit of curiosity,” she says, “and I’ve always been curious. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to know the how and the why: Why do things work? How does that apparatus accomplish its task? My curiosity naturally extended to computers, for it was so foreign and fascinating to me how a machine could be so intelligent.”
Westview HS, Beaverton SD, Beaverton, OR
Vincent has participated in three university-level research projects: At a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Lewis & Clark College, he helped work on Orego, an artificial intelligence program designed to play the game of Go. Over a summer he did bioinformatics research at the Oregon National Primate Center, where he applied his knowledge of stochastic algorithms to a problem in computational biology. In the same cutting-edge spirit, his current research in quantum computing is driven by both a theoretical interest and a desire to revolutionize computing as we know it. While the familiar classical computing technology of today is lagging behind Moore’s law, quantum computing promises exponentially faster speeds. Thus, he is working to build an APL and C-based simulation of a quantum computer, and researching quantum combinatorial optimization and quantum graphs with Professor Bryant York at Portland State University. “I am also fascinated by the role of algorithms in the application of technology,” he says. “My extensive experience with discrete mathematics paved the way for my studies of numerous algorithms textbooks, including the so-called ‘bible,’ ‘Introduction to Algorithms’ by CLRS. Beginning in 11th grade, I have participated in the USA Computing Olympiad, an algorithms-oriented programming contest… In a similar problem-solving vein, I enjoy doing Project Euler problems in my free time to hone my coding skills as well as my algorithmic intuition.”