Fox Chapel team named Grand Champs in statewide competition
A team of Fox Chapel Area High School students was named the grand champion in the eighth annual Governor’s STEM Competition. Junior Janise Kim and sophomores Arvind Seshan and Prajval Sreenivas developed a product called CITISYNC, a highly accurate occupancy tracking system that revolutionizes social distancing practices. CITISYNC tracks the number of people in a particular location and lets users know how many people are in a restaurant, store, or other public place to help determine the safety of public buildings based on social distancing guidelines and customer counts. It also lets consumers know when these public places are more crowded. CITISYNC uses camera technology to count people and the public could access the information through an app.
This year, the Governor’s STEM Competition challenged 56 teams of students in grades 9-12 from across the state to research, design and present a device or project that would make the quality of life better for Pennsylvanians by accomplishing a series of practical tasks to solve real-world problems. The theme was “Improving Pennsylvania Through STEM.”
“Pennsylvania is a leader in STEM education and this competition demonstrates how students are using the skills they have learned in their classrooms to create real-life solutions to everyday problems,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “This competition inspires students and every year we see teams who have accepted the challenge and shown us the remarkable work happening in our schools.”
According to Pennsylvania’s Acting Secretary for Education Noe Ortega, “The Governor’s STEM Competition participants have applied their skills in science, technology, engineering, and math to solve an array of real-world issues. I applaud all of the teams for their hard work and resilience, and recognize the educators, parents and caregivers, and community members who supported these students during an unpredictable, challenging year.”
Part of the competition requirements were that teams work with a member of their local community, a business, or an educational entity. The Fox Chapel Area High School students partnered with a research programmer and health experts, and incorporated ideas from local businesses.
The Fox Chapel Area High School team was named the grand champion in the Division 2 category that included teams of students who had not participated in the state competition in the last five years. As the grand champions, each student on the Fox Chapel Area team will receive a $2,000 scholarship, a trophy, and a medal. The Fox Chapel Area High School students’ advisor was gifted education facilitator Lisa Gibson.