These exceptional future engineers and computer scientists were honored for their pursuits of engineering projects, their understanding of engineering principles, their roles in inspiring young girls to pursue engineering, and their contributions to the communities they live in.
Local Innovator Award Recipients:
The SWENext Local Innovator Award recognizes outstanding young women shaping the future of SWE who have demonstrated a commitment to bettering the lives of women in STEM.
Madalyn, a Northrop Grumman intern and aspiring Computer Scientist from California, is the Founder and former President of her high school SWENext Club and past robotics Co-President. She has experience in all levels of FIRST Robotics since 6th grade. Coming from a family of war refugees and immigrants, she has focused the past seven years on two missions that are most important to her: making STEM accessible for everyone, and inspiring young kids to dream big and aim high, regardless of their background. She believes women and BIPOC need to have a voice at the table to have a more sustainable future based on rich, varied perspectives. Madalyn is a change-maker, role model, and strong voice for STEM gender parity.
Maggie, an aspiring Computer Science and Electrical Engineer from Texas, has worked to encourage young girls to enter STEM through summer camps and volunteering at local elementary schools. Currently, she is President of her high school’s Women in STEM club where she has created a supportive group of girls finding their passion for STEM together.
Anika, an aspiring Chemical Engineer from Texas, is the Co-Founder and President of her high school’s SWENext Club. So far, she has helped her club achieve an honorable mention in the 2020 SWEet Creation club challenge and has hosted yearly summer science programs for elementary school students in her area to help young female students gain an interest in engineering. Through SWENext, she was inspired to pursue an interest in data science, from which she contributed to research on bacterial quorum sensing in biofilm formation.
Nandita, an aspiring Computer Scientist from Maryland, is the President of the MESA (Math, Engineering, Science, Achievement) and GirlsWhoCode clubs at her school. She has hosted several computer science workshops with ProjectCSGirls with over 50+ participants from all over the US. This spring, she aims to expand her school’s SWENext chapter by coordinating STEM activities for prospective club members.
Alyssa, an aspiring entrepreneur from California, is the founder of Full STEAM Ahead. In 2021, the organization published their app prototype that matches users with STEM teams on the Google Playstore and Apple’s Testflight. She is currently leading her team to the next stage of development.
Rhea, an aspiring DevSecOps Engineer from California, is a technology enthusiast who applies her tech skills for social good. She is the President of her school’s Coding and CyberSecurity clubs and co-founded her school’s first annual hackathon-learnathon.
Josephine, an aspiring Bioengineer from California, is the President and founding officer of the Women in STEM Club at her high school. The club has collaborated with engineers in the San Diego area, NASA, and Viasat. She is captain of her all-girls FIRST Tech Challenge team, the Robopuffs, and hopes to cultivate a supportive environment for women in STEM in her community.
Yarianis, an aspiring Biomedical Engineer from Puerto Rico, hosted a series of workshops in 2020 to teach girls about the types of engineering. Women engineers served as panelists, and the workshops reached students and Girl Scouts from across Puerto Rico. She also formed an alliance with her robotics team to allow kids from other schools who do not have a robotics club to have a feeling of what it’s like to be a member of one. In 2022, she wants to have a bigger impact and build more connections with other girls.
Local Innovator Award Honorable Mentions:
Victoria, an aspiring Automotive Engineer, is the President of the SWENext Club at the Downingtown STEM Academy. Over the summer of 2021 she attended a career practicum at Southco where she made connections and learned new engineering solutions. Her goal this school year is to hold a career panel with local female engineers to discuss the engineering field.
Samyukta, an aspiring Biomedical Engineer, is the Founder and Executive Director of IuvaTech, a nonprofit that engages, educates, and empowers youth to solve social issues using STEAM. In 2021, she coordinated the “CS for Change” and “Summer of Skill Building” programs for sixty-five students to learn the fundamentals of design thinking and full-stack development. In 2022, Samyukta and the IuvaTech team are planning a hybrid, global hackathon focused on social issues and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Isabella, an aspiring Chemical and Environmental Engineer from Missouri, is the Founder and President of her high school’s SWENext Club. This spring, she will partner with Missouri University of Science and Technology to host “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day,” a SWE outreach event offered for girls at the surrounding high schools.
Hira is an aspiring Software Engineer from Dallas, Texas. Since middle school, Hira has worked to gain knowledge in computer science and complete various programming projects. She currently holds a position as an EngineerGirl Ambassador at the National Academy of Engineering and has participated in various STEM programs. After high school, Hira plans to major in Computer Science at UT Arlington.
STEM In Action Award Recipients:
The SWENext STEM in Action Award emphasizes the impact SWENexters have in their communities through volunteering, SWE and SWENext participation and events promoting STEM and supporting the SWE mission.
Ellen, an aspiring technologist and inventor from California, developed an algorithm for Kawasaki disease early diagnosis to assist doctors, for which she received a Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair award. She is also the founder of Zipline Theory 501(c)(3), an organization democratizing CS education with events such as a 3-week digital forensics program with support from National Center of Women in Technology and Department of Defense to teach girls of military families.
Subhadra, an aspiring Computational Linguist from Washington, is the founder of the Linguistics Justice League, a nonprofit organization and a youth board member of Invest in Youth. She is the Founder and President of the Computational Linguistics club as well as the President of the Math Club at her high school. In 2021, she conducted research on refugee assimilation in the U.S. and published two research papers by leveraging data science and game theory. Over the next year, she plans to research and gain a deeper understanding of the NLP and Machine Learning domain.
Reeva, an aspiring Computer Science Engineer from New Jersey, is the President of the Girls Who Code chapter at her high school and one of the National Teen Advisory Board members of Techgirlz, an organization that aims to empower women and girls in STEM. Reeva is a Congressional App Challenge winner and she has won in 15+ international hackathons. She is the Director of Member Relations at Athena Women in STEM as well as a Science Communication Editor at Youth STEM 2030. In her free time, Reeva enjoys participating in hackathons and giving back to her community by volunteering.
Reema, a steminist and aspiring Electrical Engineer from California, is the co-founder of SKITS, a non-profit that conceptualizes and delivers science kits for children to conduct experiments at home. She is the national winner of the MySO Science Olympiad for Circuits and enjoys hands-on activities with electronic circuits, sensors, Arduino, and AI projects. She enjoys playing chess, conducting chess camps and is a nationally ranked chess player. As the Director of Engineering and Technology STEM Club and Vice-President of her school chess club, she encourages greater participation in these activities, especially among young women.
Ankita, an aspiring Computer Science Engineer from California, is the Co-Founder of Digital Educate, a global non-profit organization focused on bridging the access to education and increasing gender diversity in technology. During the pandemic, she taught over 350 students free coding classes and leadership classes to girls worldwide. This summer, she directed a virtual coding contest to promote girls in STEM, reaching close to 100 participants from all over the U.S. She is the Director of her school’s Girls Who Code club where she mentors girls on computer science skills. Currently, she is doing research in AI and Healthcare and in 2021, she was awarded the Recognizing Reinventors STEM Award.
Natalie, an aspiring Computer Engineer from Georgia, is the President of the SWENext Club at her high school. In 2021, she and two other students organized and led a virtual workshop to teach computer-aided design to elementary school students. She also co-founded EPiCS Ignite!, and she and her co-founder organized and led a virtual workshop to teach introductory coding to elementary school students.
Aaminah, an aspiring Computer Engineer from Pakistan, is co-heading an activity to empower young girls in STEM in January 2022. In the summer of 2021, she conducted a research-based study to investigate the relationship between cancer and abnormal stem cell regeneration. She is also currently involved in several legal and digital awareness NGOs within Pakistan.
Ishika, an aspiring Environmental Scientist/Engineer from Florida, is conducting research to develop a novel treatment of protective face masks by nanoparticle deposition to enhance efficiency and cost-effectiveness for pollution and virus abatement. She has a patent pending, her research paper has been accepted for a journal publication, and her project has won several awards at ISEF, the International Genius Olympiad, the Sigma Xi research conference, and several regional competitions. Ishika, an EngineerGirl Ambassador (National Academy of Engineering), and Founder of the “Gear Up!” engineering club, gets the greatest satisfaction from conducting virtual Engineering Camps for kids, especially girls, and by inspiring and motivating underrepresented kids at the local Boys & Girls Club into STEM education through hands-on learning experiences.
Diya, a junior in high school and an aspiring Computer Scientist from Pennsylvania, leads the SWENext Club at her high school; she has conducted several hands-on workshops in which aspiring engineers have expanded their innovative and creative horizons. She is also the Pennsylvania Chapter President of an organization called Teens Teach Technology, bridging the generational divide and empowering senior citizens by teaching the basics of technology. This past summer, she was awarded a scholarship to attend the Kode With Klossy Web Development Program. Diya looks forward to continuing machine learning research as a Student Research Intern of a Lehigh University professor.
Vibha is a highschooler interested in the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Healthcare. For the past year she has been working on an AI based app to efficiently diagnose COVID-19 and has presented her work in the 2021 Sigma Xi Student Research Showcase, the 8th International Conference on Biomedical Engineering and Systems, to Congresswoman Bonamici, and to professors and doctors across the globe. Additionally, she is the founder and president of Educate 2 Empower which is a non-profit that works to empower underprivileged females with financial, educational, and health-related support.
Vanesha, an aspiring CS and Robotics engineer from Seattle, is the co-founder of a nonprofit initiative Joys of Giving impacting over 300+ youth teaching STEM workshops. Her passion for robotics led her team to qualify for the World robotics championships in 2021.
Anna, a high school junior from West Virginia, aspires to be a mechanical and aerospace engineer. She is on the Student Leadership Council of Mountaineer Area RoboticS, a FIRST Robotics Competition Team. This year, she founded Project N.E.W.S., and as part of that, Anna wrote and illustrated a children’s book in English and Spanish about women scientists and engineers; the book will be given to schools and libraries in rural Appalachia and the Hispanic community.
Shagun, an aspiring Quantum Computing Engineer from New Jersey, is the Director of Technology and Engineering for ATHENA by Women In STEM and is a board member for her school’s Girls Who Code club. In the summer of 2021, she worked with the Quantum Materials & Devices Lab at NYU to conduct a research project about analyzing quantum money systems to determine counannterfeit money. Shagun has also been the Executive Director for two international hackathons and looks forward to combining her passion for quantum computing and diversity in STEM by leading similar projects in the future.
Stuti, an aspiring Computer Science engineer from California, is the co-founder of STEMPower4Girls a non-profit organization where they have held over 30 STEM workshops for 400+ girls across the globe. They have additionally started 17 chapters across the nations and are hosting a tournament in India at the start of 2022 with over $8,000+ in scholarship money. Aside from that, she is also an officer for her school’s math, computer science, and women in STEM club.