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By Rama K. Ramaswamy
One of the many ways the Wellesley Education Foundation (WEF) inspires the love of learning is by encouraging multiple levels of student-driven leadership. On Saturday, March 16, Wellesley Creates, run by Wellesley High School Computer Science students, brought together a mix of 80 middle and high school aged students - with no prior experience necessary - to build an Android app to solve everyday issues. Mentors included WHS students and professionals from Quick Base.
While the student leaders who co-chaired the event were Nasim Haji-Sheikhi and Ethan Liss-Roy, they rallied other WHS Computer Science students to lead 17 teams through four project stages. The following four student-mentors were responsible for guiding participants through the process of coding using MIT’s App Inventor: Luis Hoderlein, Emily Lo, Allison Goehringer, and Sarah Tong. Individual participants led each of their teams to collaborate, brainstorm creative ideas, and learn to code, all within the span of one day.
At the Wellesley Creates finale, four teams were recognized for "best ideation," "best business execution," "best coding" and "best app.” The best app award was presented to a team that came up with the "Guardian Angel" program: Arnav Gautam, Ludovic Ottou Fouda and Luke Bonniwell. The app allowed for its user to have two options to send a distress signal - to the police, as well as to a specific list of friends and family.
Wellesley's Code Ninjas provided gift baskets consisting of a Raspberry Pi and a workshop offer on how to use it.
“The community has the opportunity to see some of the apps in action,” explained WEF Co-President Victoria Ostler, “at Wellesley STEM Expo on Saturday, April 6, at Wellesley High School from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the 'Wellesley Creates' exhibit.”
For more information about Wellesley STEM Expo, a free event for all ages, visit wellesleyeducation.com/stem-expo.