Divya Amirtharaj, an intern with Saturday Academy's Apprenticeships in Science & Engineering (ASE) program, won Marvel's 'Thor: Ragnarok' Superpower of STEM challenge. Selected from hundreds of applications, she was featured on Good Morning America for the app that she developed during her 8-week internship at Portland State University. Amirtharaj, a 16-year-old student at Beaverton Westview High School, participated in her internship during the summer of 2016 under the direction of mentor Christof Teuscher, professor of electrical and computer engineering.
"I was tasked with making an app for parents of visually-impaired children to play a game to learn how to use Braille. And then I looked around and there's just no Braille anywhere. So I thought, just cut out the middle-man and let's make an app that can help people directly connect with their world," says Amirtharaj.
The end result is an app that reads written material previously difficult to access by visually-impaired people. Users scan items like cereal boxes, menus, posters and more and the app reads the information aloud. It is designed to read material in 7 different languages. Amirtharaj's experience is just one example of the insightful and skillful work that young people can do in professional environments.
ASE internships are designed to connect motivated high school students with mentors in pre-professional science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) internships. Amirtharaj was one of 152 interns selected out of more than 500 applications for the summer of 2016. Applications are open for internships during the summer of 2018. If you are interested in spending your summer immersing yourself in a STEM field and working on exciting and forward-thinking projects, browse our internship catalog and apply by Mar. 9, 2018.
If you would like to mentor a student like Amirtharaj, find out more about how to be a mentor. The ASE program is always looking for new partners to provide opportunities for our highly-qualified student interns.
Saturday Academy believes that all students deserve the opportunity to follow their curiosity. You never know where that road might lead. In Amirtharaj's case, it led to tool designed to help thousands of people throughout the world gain access to new information.