A Kirby Junior High student is a national champion for her science project that could save the lives of those with disabilities, when disasters strike.
Sonya Ganeshram started working on her device a year ago, and with help from two other students in the DFW area, they took the top honors at the eCYBERMISSION competition in Washington DC.
The application can be synced with Apple or Samsung watches and will send vibration alerts to the person wearing it, if an alarm is detected.
The app, called Artemis, could be anything from a smoke alarm to a tornado siren, and is specifically designed to help blind or deaf people.
Sonya’s team and their application were recognized as the best of the best from more than 7,000 entrants.
The U.S. Army sponsored the competition and the winners were awarded savings bonds.
Only four teams – one for each grades 6 through 9 – won national acclaim in the 2015-2016 eCYBERMISSION Competition June 24th.
“We are so proud of her!” wrote Kirby teacher Lynn Seman.
She sponsored several of Sonya’s projects over the years and was following this one that came shortly after her retirement in May.
Another Kirby teacher, Gwenna Gallenberger, basked in the excitement of her student’s win as she sent an excited email. “Sonya’s team just won the eCYBERMISSION competition!!! They are national champions!”
The eCYBERMISSION competition is designed to bring sixth-, seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders to the science table to conduct science research or create inventions that solve real problems in their community.
Earlier in the year, Sonya took to the Texas state competition a similar invention that she created through her skill at computer coding. She created the Prescription Overdose Protection Box, which is wired and programmed to beep when too many pills are dispensed from a pill jar.
At the national competition, students were judged not only on their project but also on their team collaboration, among many other things, said Mrs. Ganeshram.
The hardest thing for Sonya was making time to travel from Wichita Falls to the Dallas area to work with her team members every weekend.
Sonya and her team members participated in the week long event that focused on educational opportunities and team-building opportunities.
Teams participated in various STEM demonstrations and hands-on activities.
They visited Capitol Hill to meet members of Congress, did sightseeing at the National Mall, and participated in a live-streamed National Showcase where students displayed and demonstrated their winning ideas.
For more information about the eCYBERMISSION competition, visit www.ecybermission.com.