Other NJ News

Young Hillsborough Inventor Off to Showcase in California Following Success at the White House and on National Television

25f6898adbb61a28cccd_4b170e523225e52ba32f_hillspixdianatv3__2_.jpg
Judges on 'America's Greatest Makers' get a close look at Diana Voronin's  'Motivate Me' wrist device. Credits: Courtesy 'America's Greatest Makers'
2567b8db12779310febb_bbdd02dafca2ae5e8648_hillspixdianatv7.jpg
Diana Voronin is all smiles on the set of 'America's Greatest Makers.' Credits: Courtesy 'America's Greatest Makers'
34346652971a9ab542e0_1d76b24c16d89e7ea20f_hillspixdianatv4.jpg
Celebrity judge Shaquille O'Neal towers over Diana Voronin as he helps adjust the 'Motivate Me' wristband device during the TV show. Credits: Courtesy 'America's Greatest Makers'
25f6898adbb61a28cccd_4b170e523225e52ba32f_hillspixdianatv3__2_.jpg

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The last few months have been a whirlwind for Diana Voronin, from meeting President Obama at the White House to competing for a $1M top prize on a national television show produced by Intel and Mark Burnett, whose successes include “Survivor,” “Shark Tank,” and “The Voice.”

This weekend, the 15-year-old Hillsborough High School sophomore will travel to California with her parents to showcase her invention at Intel’s Bay Area Maker Fair in San Mateo, along with other inventors and their creations.

Voronin invented a wristband device called “Motivate Me,” designed to help victims of strokes with their exercises. It can be programmed by therapists with specific exercise instructions and aid in the rehabilitation process. Using an accelerometer, "Motivate Me" records movements in the rehab regimen, which helps therapists review the client’s progress and whether they are performing the exercises properly.

Sign Up for E-News

Voronin said her inspiration for "Motivate Me" comes from her grandfather, a stroke victim, who found it difficult to exercise during his recovery.

She sent in an application and was selected as one of the 24 finalists to compete on “America’s Greatest Makers,” produced by Emmy-winning producer Burnett, who collaborated with Intel on the high-tech reality show, utilizing a panel of judges, including celebrities.

That’s where NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal enters the picture.

“Shaq was one of the judges for my pitch on the show, I got a lot of feedback and encouragement from him,” Voronin said.

“I was a little bit nervous but he came up to me and said I was doing great; he told me he has three daughters and he encouraged me to relax.

“One of his biggest criticisms, and that was across the board from all the judges was that my prototype was too clumsy,” she continued. “It looks like a small box. That’s hard for me to fix right now; it’s hard to slim down the components with the tools I have at my house but it is something that I will work on, functionality; I know I will have to slim it down eventually,” she added.

Intel mentors will continue to advise Voronin through the summer.

"We have an extremely diverse cast from 15 years old to 59 with ideas that are as unique as the teams themselves," Burnett said prior to the broadcast of the first episode on April 5th. "We are looking to come up with the next big thing in wearable tech and smart connected devices, and these competitors will have to convince our judges that their product is just that. The competition will inspire a whole new audience of potential makers."

"America's Greatest Makers"featured 24 teams from across the country in head-to-head competition to present game-changing technology. Each team pitched their wearable or smart device idea to the judging panel consisting of Intel CEO Brian Krzanich; business and financial expert Carol Roth; comedian, serial entrepreneur and co-host of truTV’s Hack My Life Kevin Pereira; and one of the celebrity guests.

O’Neal, whose career included World Championships and a string of All-Star appearances playing for the Los Angeles Lakers and other NBA teams, is used to winning, but when asked who she favored - President Obama or O’Neal - the basketball star finished second.

“I never would have imagined I’d get to meet either of them,” Voronin said. “Both are very nice people, but I would have to say the president was very encouraging; he talked about his passion for education and it was really cool to go inside the White House.”

Her appearance on “America’s Greatest Makers” led to the invitation from the White House to participate in the VI annual White House Science Fair on April 13th. She was one of 100 students invited because of their exceptional accomplishments in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Obama greeted each one of the participants in a reception line, making small talk as he greeted each person.

“He basically said ‘Nice to meet you,’ but during his remarks to all of us, it was validating, to actually be there, just to present my project at the White House, that was inspiring in and of itself, having the president recognize the achievements of all of the kids in the room.

 “When do you ever get to experience something like that,” she added. “The whole experience inspired me to go home and work ever harder on my own project.”

Voronin was eliminated in one of the early rounds; the top five finishers each took home $100,000 and the eventual winner, $1 million.

The final episode will be broadcast Tuesday, May 24th at 9 p.m. on TBS.

But it wasn’t about the money for Voronin.

“Even though I didn’t move forward, I wasn’t in this for the money,” she said. “The experience to work with engineers from Intel and business people from Berkeley, all really influential people, I learned a lot from that, about technology and how to present myself.”

Between the TV studio and the White House, she also had the opportunity to meet other young inventors, celebrities, diplomats, scientists, top-tier business leaders and tech-industrialists – even Bill Nye, the Science Guy.

Voronin’s hobbies include running cross-country, playing the violin, sewing, knitting, writing, and reading.

College is a definite; she hasn’t decided yet whether to major in computer science or electrical engineering,but as she told the producers of “America’s Greatest Makers,”  she wants to create things that can actually impact people.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Plainfield

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_9d8e453cf3136a3d0129_rec_2017_hw_helper

Mon, February 19, 4:00 PM

Hannah Atkins Community Center, Plainfield

Homework Helper

Education

Carousel_image_bf9289538565923cc504_childrens_library_2-18

Tue, February 20, 3:30 PM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Black History Maze in the Children's Library

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_37185e94244ca974ba49_monoprinting

Tue, February 20, 4:00 PM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Monoprinting at the Plainfield Public Library

Arts & Entertainment

Why I'm Running for UCDC Chair

February 17, 2018

My vision for Union County includes you. On February 21st, I need your vote so we can build the future of our Party together. 

Vote Colleen Mahr for Union County Democratic Committee Chair, this Wednesday at 7:00PM, Grand Centurion, 440 Madison Hill Rd, Clark, NJ. Details to follow via regular mail. 

 

 

Contact: ...

Parsippany One of Seven School Districts that Required Police Presence Last Week

February 18, 2018

PARSIPPANY, NJ - Parsippany is one of seven NJ school districts that had a situation requiring increased police presence and/or change in security since last week's fatal Florida high school shooting.  

In addition to Parsippany's Brooklawn school lockdown several other incidents have been reported throughout the state.  

In Princeton, the ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Rapps Pharmacy: What You Need To Know About The Flu

There seems to be no end in sight for the current flu season which has touched every part of the country, and right here in New Jersey.  Rapps Pharmacy, an independent, full service, and locally owned Plainfield neighborhood pharmacy, offers these tips:  

As influenza virus activity increases and is likely to continue circulating for upcoming weeks, the Centers for Disease Control ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

'American Hero' explores with powerful performances

‘American Hero’ pulses with tension, clashing emotions at George Street

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNWICK – The issue of social injustice makes its way into “American Hero,” the second play in a trilogy by Christopher Demo-Brown.

Armand Schultz as Rob is to receive a medal of honor for his heroic actions during the Iraq war. Although he lost the use of his legs, he ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K. Rowlings it was the novels penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith; books about a maimed and very flawed private detective with the unlikely name of Cormoran Strike. For Kathy Reichs, it is the ...

Drama by Raina Telgemeir

Drama by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic, 2012) (target audience, Young Adults)

 

When my daughter, Shauna, was six years old, we took her to see her first Broadway production; a revival of The Wiz starring Stephanie Mills. I knew that it was the last time Mills could get away with playing Dorothy, and I impressed upon Shauna that seeing this show was a special moment in her life. As a ...

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory (Touchstone, 2017)

Yesterday my cousin, the daughter of my mother's sister, called me from California where she lives, and hit me up for money. This is not the first time she has asked me for money, and not the last, I am sure. She grew up the daughter of a privileged family and cruised to Europe frequently when she was a child. Her wardrobe came from ...

The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb

The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb (Atria Books, 2017)

 

Sharyn McCrumb is, quite simply, an American gem, and one of my favorite authors. From her books set in Appalachia with strange characters who remind us of our pioneer past, to St. Dale, a masterpiece about the legendary car racer, Dale Earnhardt in McCrumb's NASCAR series, McCrumb's poetic language and attention to ...

Maisie Dobbs by Jacquelline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (Soho Press, 2003)

In the song “The Schuyler Sisters” from the Broadway musical Hamilton, sister Angelica sings, “ I've been reading 'Common Sense' by Thomas Paine. So men say that I'm intense or I'm insane, You want a revolution? I wanna a revelation . . .” because she and her sisters are “looking for a mind ...