Media RSVP: 2016 White House Science Fair Interviews

Please indicate below who you would like to interview.  Please note in in the interest of time, you should prioritize the top five teams you want to talk with.

See below for short bios on the teams, and use the checkboxes below


Jacob Bosarge, 17; Nolan Lenard, 16; Rupa Palanki, 17
Mobile, AL
W.P. Davidson High School, represented by Jacob Bosarge, 17, Nolan Lenard, 16, and Rupa Palanki, 17, has become one of the best of the BEST in Alabama, winning 1st Place Overall BEST Award in the Jubilee BEST Robotics Competition and 2nd Place Overall BEST Award in the South’s BEST Regional Championship—making W.P. Davidson’s team the highest-ranking team in Alabama.


Hari Bhimaraju, 12
Cupertino, CA
Hari Bhimaraju, a 12-year old Kennedy Middle School student from Cupertino, California, used a Raspberry Pi and Arduino to design the hardware and software for “The Elementor”, a portable, low-cost teaching tool to help visually impaired students learn the periodic table of elements.

Maya Varma, 17
San Jose, CA
Maya used her knowledge of 3D printing, electrical engineering, and computer science, along with data of lung capacity and flow rate, to build the device, which can currently diagnose chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and restrictive lung disease with remarkable accuracy.

Siobhan Garry, 17; Mona Fariborzi, 17; Lauren Mori, 17; Bansi Parekh, 17; McKenna Stamp, 18
San Diego, CA
To create a more positive and welcoming environment, a group of teen programmers created Spectrum, an Android app that aims to provide a social-media network for the LGBT community, especially younger users looking for a safe support system.

Ana Hernendez, 18; Jason Mares, 17
Los Angeles, CA
Ana Hernendez, 18, and Jason Mares are representing Team 597 from South Los Angeles, which took home the Chairman’s Award at the 2015 FIRST Championship in St. Louis — the most prestigious award of the competition, which honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of the FIRST organization.

Shaneel Narayan, 18; Jahsene Tongco, 18
Union City, CA
This team of young engineers from James Logan High School took on the challenge of designing and building a solar charging station for an electric vehicle—enabling a car to be fully powered by renewable and sustainable energy sources. Their result earned them a spot as finalists at the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow national competition. 

Talie Cloud, 16
Sanger, CA
Talie conducted a project to see whether Momordica charantia (bitter melon seed) could be used as an organic insecticide for managing populations of fruit flies and other agricultural pests. For her findings, Talie was named a National Winner at the FFA Agriscience Fair.


Simon-Peter Frimpong, 13; Maya Max-Villard, 13; Grayson Fast, 14
Aurora, CO
Inspired by neighboring Buckley Air Force Base and, in particular, a veteran who needed a more comfortable and functional prosthetic limb, these three students designed and built a new prosthetic leg that will allow an amputee to hike, manage uneven terrain, and even skateboard. 


Olivia Hallisey, 17
Greenwich, CT
Olivia created the Ebola Assay card—a temperature-independent, rapid, portable, and inexpensive diagnostic test for the detection of the Ebola virus. This novel and impactful approach earned the Connecticut High School student the Grand Prize in the 2015 Google Science Fair.

Gabriel Mesa, 16
Canton, CT
Gabriel combined piezoelectric materials with graphene, to create a new battery technology, the “Carbon Battery”—an environmentally safe and compostable battery that generates electrical energy through mechanical instead of chemical means. The patent-pending Carbon Battery seeks to replace conventional batteries that are typically created using toxic materials.


Mikayla Ockels, 17
Milton, DE
Mikayla conducted a project to identify the most profitable chicken breeds to satisfy the growing demand for pasture raised eggs. Mikayla’s project earned her high accolades at the 2016 International BioGENEius Challenge, where she took home the Special Award for Practical Impact.


Hannah Herbst, 15
Boca Raton, FL
Hannah was named America’s 2015 Top Young Scientist and won the 2015 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for creating BEACON, an ocean-energy probe prototype. BEACON—which Hannah created out of a desire to help her nine-year-old pen pal who lives in Ethiopia and lacks a reliable source of power and electricity—seeks to offer a stable power source to developing countries by using untapped energy from ocean currents.


Nicole O’Dell, 18
Stone Mountain, GA
Nicole won first place at the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) National Competition for her research on the effects of low-dose radiation. Nicole’s project evaluated if the growth of patient diagnostic specimens are affected by exposure to low dose X-rays from security scanning machines, which are routinely used when transporting materials between research and diagnostic labs.


Nathan Charles Marshall, 17
Boise, ID
Nathan was a finalist in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search for his project examining prehistoric climate change and what it means for our current climate challenge. For his project, Nathan used a marine sediment core to examine the warming effects of two natural pulses of carbon dioxide released 55 million years ago.

Olivia Thomas, 18
Boise, ID
Olivia designed a game inspired by her love of literature, winning her accolades at the National STEM Video Game Design Challenge. At her virtual school, she mentors students and teachers on technology and was recently awarded a grant by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) to start a local game-design program for girls.


Annie Ostojic, 13
Munster, IN
Annie analyzed a preexisting microwave design to by measuring various microwaves to identify energy wasting hotspots and determined that the best method to improve this technology would require redesigning the microwave cavity itself to refocus lost corner energy onto turntable food.

Devon Langley 14; Trevor Langley, 11
Haute, IN
Devon and Trevor represent a team that harnessed the power of the rainbow to help dyslexic students learn mathematics. This innovative young team developed the ROY G. BIV Math System, an app designed to improve the way children challenged with dyslexia learn new math concepts through color coding


Sanjana Rane, 18
Prospect, KY
Sanjana helped discover how a particular protein could be used to detect and treat renal fibrosis. Her discovery helps to prevent renal fibrosis from developing into end-stage renal disease, an incurable total failure of the kidneys.


Jacob Leggette, 9
Baltimore, MD
Jacob Leggette wrote letters to different printer companies, asking if they would donate a 3D printer to him in return for feedback on how easily a then-8-year-old could use their device. His sales pitch worked, and he has been creating toys and games ever since.

Neil Davey, 20
Gaithersburg, MD
Neil took on the study of cancer for his International BioGENEius Challenge project. In addition to improving early cancer detection, Neil’s research provides the genomic details of the cancer, giving the treating doctor insights into the patients’ cancer that can enable for more-targeted “precision medicine” treatments.

Anurudh Ganesan, 16
Clarksburg, MD
Anurudh researched a better method of refrigerating vaccines immediately prior to use, particularly in developing countries. His creation, VAXXWAGON, can effectively transport vaccines in the last leg of distribution without the use of ice and electricity, saving potentially thousands of lives throughout the world. Anurudh’s project made him a finalist in the 2015 Google Science Fair.

Kylah Cain-Ward, 13; Destani Cularri, 11; Adriana Pusey, 13; Jordan West, 12
Edgewood, MD
These students built and raced a solar-powered vehicle and placed first with their very first design in the Maryland Army Education Outreach Program (AEOP) Junior Solar Sprint competition.


Yashaswini Makaram, 17
Northborough, MA
Yashaswini created a new cell phone security tool that records the distinctive arm and hand motions people use to lift a cell phone from a table to uniquely identify the cell phone’s owner. To date, the technology correctly identifies a cell phone’s owner 85 percent of the time and differentiates among people with 93 percent accuracy.


Lydia Mindermann, 13; Andrea Richard Kasson, 14
Kasson, MN
Inspired by some of the 1.5 million Mayo Clinic patients around the world, three girls, represented by Lydia and Andrea developed an international award-winning app to help patients. The team’s “Mayo Free Time” app, which beat out 400 apps from 28 different countries to win the Technovation Challenge, displays activities happening at the Mayo Clinic that patients can participate in, a map of the Mayo campus along with the city of Rochester, and a chat and help screen.


Sindhu Bala, 12; Ellie Englund, 12; Sydney Gralike, 13; Julianna Jones, 13; Reagan Mattison,12; Christina Yepez, 13
St. Louis, MO
These students wanted to help a local retirement community be more environmentally friendly and developed “Eco Bin,” a metal bin containing a non-toxic substance (d-limonene) that dissolves Styrofoam when mixed with water, enabling households and businesses to reduce their waste.

New Hampshire

Deepika Kurup, 18
Nashua, NH
Motivated by the lack of potable water for children in India, a country she visits with her family every year, Deepika developed a solar-powered technology that uses silver and other materials to rapidly remove bacteria from water. Deepika’s innovation made her a finalist in the 2015 Google Science Fair and a winner of the National Geographic Explorer Award.

New Jersey

Diana Veronin, 15
Hillsboro, NJ
Diana created a device, MotivateMe, is a compact, low-cost wristband that uses wearable technology to motivate stroke patients to do their rehabilitation exercises frequently and correctly. When the patient wears the device, the machine-learning software used in the device will analyze movement patterns for the different exercises to detect when and how frequently a patient does an exercise correctly.


Sydney Lin, 13; Krishna Patel, 12; Isha Shah, 13
Las Vegas, NV
These students overcame the obstacle of losing their original teacher and mentor to compete at the Future City National competition and created a sustainable, waste-free, municipal city, winning Team Kilau Most Sustainable Buildings and City of the Future that Best Incorporates Cultural and Historical Resources.

New York

Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna, 17
Elmont, NY
Augusta was named a finalist in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search for adding a nanoclay ingredient called attapulgite to cement slurries to improve the undersea cement seals that keep offshore oil wells from leaking. She found that adding nanoclay at just 0.3 percent of the total volume of the mixture markedly improved the mixture’s properties.

Kimberly Te, 16; Christine Yoo, 16
Manhasset, NY
Kimberly and Christine engineered a device, known as a microbial fuel cell (MFCs), which can produce clean energy and help clean up oil spills using natural, sustainable materials. Their design and approach uses an everyday loofah sponge—a natural and readily available material—to take the otherwise unusable oil from oil spills to generate clean energy. Kimberly and Christine found that their design significantly increases power production, effectively removes oil-spill pollution, and is highly cost-effective.

Amro Halwah, 18 Stephen Mwingria, 17; Si Ya “Wendy” Ni, 18
New York City, NY
These students invented a 100-lb robot that moves along subway system rails, vacuuming up debris to make New York City’s transportation system cleaner and more efficient for kids like them who take the subway to school every day.

North Carolina

Samantha Armistead, 17; Judy Cheng, 17; Ryan Hill, 18; Emma Jaynes, 17; Evan Perry, 17
Durham, NC
Team Rock-It of Durham, North Carolina, has experienced great success at amateur rocketry, including making the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) national finals in 2013 and 2014, finishing in the top 25 teams during their second year. Their success qualified them for NASA’s follow-on Student Launch Initiative, where their payload system garnered high praise from engineers at NASA.


Savannah Cofer, 18; Varun Vallabhaneni, 17;
Gahanna, OH
Valerie Chen, 18; Matthew Sun, 17
Centreville, VA

These students created FireArmor, which is composed of an inorganic, endothermic fiber that absorbs heat from its environment and keeps the firefighter safe at temperatures much higher than typical protection gear. The team was inspired to create FireArmor two years ago, when 19 Arizona firefighters were surrounded and killed during a flash fire.


Ty Brant, 12; Anthony Maldonado, 13; Benjamin Woolen, 13; Taylor Wingo, 12
Tahlequah, OK
These students designed and built a robot to compete against others in a game-based engineering challenge competitions, taking home trophies at a FIRST LEGO League Robotics Competition, as well as the Vexpo 15 competition hosted by the Cherokee Nation Education Services and Northeastern State University College of Education.


Shemar Coombs, 19
Philadelphia, PA
Shemar used computer-aided design (CAD) software and a 3D printer to invent a cellphone case with a specially-designed channel along its edge that allows headphones to be easily wrapped and secured, while remaining tangle-free. The teenage entrepreneur took the invention all the way to the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship National Challenge.


Nia Clements, 15
San Antonio, TX

After losing her grandfather to gastric cancer, Nia decided to learn more about the disease and discovered an unlikely treatment in Santalum album (sandalwood) tree oil (EISO). This year, Nia studied the effects of EISO on the transmembrane ion channels of the gastric cancer cells to figure out the method by which the oil is killing and and/or inhibiting the gastric cancer cells.


Kimberly Yeung, 9; Rebecca Yeung, 11
Seattle, WA
Kimberly and Rebecca built a homemade “spacecraft” out of archery arrows and wood scraps, and launched it into the stratosphere via a helium balloon.

Alex Miller, 17; Clara Orndorff  19; Nicholas Orndorff, 16
Seattle, WA
These students started in 2010 with a $130 kit of underwater robotics parts provided by the MATE Center’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) grant from the National Science Foundation. Each year they competed in the MATE competition, advancing and placing at various levels.  They eventually won first place in the international 2015 competition with their design.

Enter your full name

Please enter the name of your media outlet (TV and radio stations, please identify by call letters)

Please select your media type.

Please provide a phone number.