By PRAGYA SINGH ‘23 and VASUMATHI VENKAT ‘22
On June 4, senior Edison High STEM Academy students presented their final capstone projects to a panel of judges that consisted of various STEM teachers. Considered the pinnacle of senior year commitments and a rite of passage for STEM upperclassmen, this project is the culmination of a 1 ½-year long endeavor to engineer a solution to a real-life problem using their knowledge from their four years of AP science, math, and engineering/technology courses.
Typically, these presentations entail a week of formal presentations in the auditorium to an audience of STEM underclassmen, interested teachers, and the panel. However, this year, each student created a screencastify or Youtube video, presenting their research and design process as a slideshow and their prototype virtually.
Some highlights include MuScribe, a machine learning tool that can pick out melodies played by different instruments within a single song, by Shruti Garg ‘20, Surgicare, a communications app to help improve post-surgical patient care, by Astha Adroja ‘20, and Triboelectric Nanogenerator, a device that generates electricity to power hybrid or electric cars through the friction created by wheels, by Yogesh Ramani ‘20 and Darsh Mehta ‘20.
Ramani ‘20 says, “The capstone project was really engaging and unique, but we didn’t have as much time to explore [our topics and projects] as a result of coronavirus.”
Four days later, junior STEM Academy students presented their finalized proposals for their future capstone projects to a similar panel. As these projects require a great deal of time, research, and planning, it is vital for them to start early.
Despite the quarantine, these students planned out their projects with step-by-step timelines for carrying out their mission statements. Under normal circumstances, the students would have presented their proposals live to a panel of judges, but like the seniors, they recorded their presentations and shared them with various EHS STEM teachers and their classmates.
Some of the capstone ideas include a Greenhouse Aquaponics System by Erin Go ‘21 and Nandana Vinod ‘21, HS: A New Start, a video game designed to help middle schoolers adjust to high school life, by Karthik Gangireddy ‘21, and an Assistant Robotic Musician, which flips sheet music during performances, (conveniently nicknamed the ARM) by Evan Keeton ‘21 and Saketh Sitaram ‘21. These projects will be the focus of their engineering class next year and the next set of senior capstone presentations.
“I think it’s a great opportunity where we get to develop our interests and pursue real world problems. These capstone projects require us to have different views on a problem and solve it accordingly,” Vinod ‘21 comments.