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MHS STEM students honored for community-changing ideas

The innovative thinking of McIntosh High students was recognized with the awarding of grants through the United Way's STEMUp: Youth Maker Competition.

Modeled after the television show “Shark Tank,” the live event provided an opportunity for young people to use their ideas, voice, and leadership to improve their communities. The talented STEM students from McIntosh impressed all with their community-changing projects and secured $13,500 in project funding support.

Through STEMUp, grants are awarded to youth to test innovative ideas that can solve problems in their communities. This competition, in collaboration with the NCR Foundation, is open to middle and high school-aged students within the United Way of Greater Atlanta's 13-county footprint. This year, a total of $56,000 was awarded to various innovative projects. In total, there were 15 winners from the Metro Atlanta area, and McIntosh students won 4 of those awards.

Anika Thiyag, a 9th grader, was awarded $7,500 for a project that involves researching a new treatment for viral infections using Halteria, a recently discovered virus-eating bacteria. By genetically modifying these bacteria to enhance their natural abilities, it aims to develop an affordable and effective treatment to reduce the rising death rate from viral diseases and relieve stress on patients and their families.

Hastee Mehdipour, a 9th grader, was awarded $1,000 for a project that uses the energy that sand absorbs and converts it into usable energy for immediate use or to be stored in a battery for later use.

The 10th grade duo of Anshika Gaur and Rachel Lin was awarded $2,500. They developed a solar gel capable of absorbing contaminated water and releasing filtered water upon exposure to sunlight. The gel is designed to resolve challenges that include affordability and substantial carbon footprints produced from water filtration facilities.

The 9th grade trio of Brennan Coiro, Elliot Oh, and Gavin Weida was awarded $2,500. Their project seeks to eradicate fatal crashes in the transportation industry by employing algorithms to monitor biological processes like eye state, cardiovascular function, and muscle contractions.

“They showcased remarkable creativity and perseverance, advancing through several rounds of intense competition,” said McIntosh STEM Coordinator Seth Bishop. “They then worked diligently with business professionals to itemize their funding requests, ensuring their projects are meticulously planned and ready for implementation.”


Posted 6/13/2024