Science and Spectrums

Five Westview High School seniors represented 92129 in a recent trip to Washington, D.C. for the White House Science Fair. Bansi Parekh, Mona Fariborzi, McKenna Stamp, Siobhan Garry, and Lauren Mori earned a spot at the prestigious event for their work on an Android app prototype called Spectrum. The app’s purpose is to foster a supportive community for LGBTQ+ youth. “Finding information and community events for LGBTQ youth on your own can be difficult, and having someone who understands what you’re going through can make a world of difference,” explained Bansi, team captain. “We sought to make an app that would solve these problems.”

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The students originally worked together to develop the app for Technovation Challenge, a three-month-long competition in the spring of 2015. In those three months, they developed the app prototype, business plans, and marketing strategies. The team’s app and business model were so impressive that they were encouraged to apply for the White House Science Fair, an annual science exhibition to showcase K-12 student competitors and winners from a broad range of STEM competitions. The fair was established under the Obama administration – the 2016 fair was the sixth and final fair.

“Our experience at the White House has definitely influenced our thoughts about our future careers,” Bansi shared. “I plan to study electrical engineering and computer science at UC Berkeley, and am considering mobile app development as a future career.” Her fellow teammates are also planning on making a difference in various other fields – Mona plans to study biology at UC Irvine, McKenna will study business, and Siobhan plans to study mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley. Learn more at www.whitehouse.gov.

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