Education

President Obama Invites NJ Student to Participate in 6th White House Science Fair

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Diana Voronin, a student at Hillsborough High School, will be at the White House April 13th to participate in President Obama's 6th annual Science Fair. Credits: Courtesy of the White House
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Credits: Courtesy of the White House
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – A 15-year-old student from Hillsborough, N.J. has been invited to the White House by President Obama for the sixth annual White House Science Fair, a showcase for the nation’s top high school students where they will be recognized for their achievements in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Diana Voronin is one of 100 students to be honored at the Wednesday, April 13 event.

The New Jersey girl invented a wristband that helps stroke victims during the rehabilitation process.

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She was inspired by her grandfather, who had had a stroke and was having a difficult time motivating himself to do his rehabilitation exercises. She took it upon herself to create the device to help patients like her grandfather.

Her invention, "MotivateMe" is a compact, low-cost wristband that uses wearable technology to motivate stroke patients to do their rehabilitation exercises frequently and correctly. A therapist can program specific exercises for the patient to do while wearing the device.

The device will then use the accelerometer to record movement data. 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.

Student innovation will be on display throughout the White House -- robots, prototypes, tools to help fight climate change and cancer – all researched, built, and designed by the next generation of America's scientists.

New commitments in support of the Administration’s Computer Science for All initiative announced earlier this year will be unveiled, as well as the “Educate to Innovate” campaign to ensure that all students are engaged and prepared in STEM subjects.

The President hosted the first White House Science Fair in 2010, noting then, “If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House. Well, if you're a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too.

“As a society, we have to celebrate outstanding work by young people in science at least as much as we do Super Bowl winners,” Obama said. “Because superstar biologists and engineers and rocket scientists and robot-builders… they’re what’s going to transform our society. They’re the folks who are going to come up with cures for diseases and new sources of energy, and help us build healthier, more successful societies.”

Two years ago while attending Hillsborough Middle School, Voronin was awarded second place in the National Academy of Engineering's annual EngineerGirl essay competition. 

In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the NAE, students were asked to reflect on how engineering has impacted social needs for the past 50 years and their predictions for how it will effect social needs in the next 50 years in one of the following areas: nutrition, health, communication, education and transportation. 

Her essay was entitled “Engineering a Healthier Future.”

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