Cork teen scoops tech prize for her app at global Technovation competition

16 Aug 2021

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13-year-old student Saanvi Kaushik won the Technovation competition’s technology prize for her occupational therapy app Stellar.

A Cork teenager who developed an app to help patients access occupational therapy services has been recognised for her innovative technology at the Technovation World Summit 2021.

Saanvi Kaushik beat out teams from around the world to be selected as one of six junior finalists in the annual competition organised by educational nonprofit Technovation, which aims to encourage girls interested in technology and problem solving.

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The 13-year-old secondary school student developed an app called Stellar to help children access occupational therapy services on a remote basis. She was inspired by her mother, who works as an occupational therapist, after seeing how hard she worked to deliver care to patients during the pandemic.

Kaushik’s fellow finalists in the junior division of the Technovation competition included teams from Brazil, Vietnam, the US, Sri Lanka and Spain.

While the Cork teen received the technology award in her division, a team from the US that developed a system to monitor carbon dioxide levels and ventilation quality inside buildings won the overall grand prize.

The grand prize winner from the senior division was also from the US, with an app designed to gives users a real-time estimate of water quality in households. There were also prizes for social impact in both the junior and senior divisions.

Kaushik beat off competition from 60 countries to gain her place in the final, which was held on Friday (13 August) as a virtual event.

The Technovation competition saw girls from all over the world get involved in creating technological solutions to real-world problems in their communities. Around 1,700 apps were created by 5,900 teenage girls.

Kaushik, who attends Christ King secondary school in Cork city, worked with Teen-Turn to create Stellar. Teen-Turn is an Irish charity organisation that works with young women and girls from underrepresented areas to help them get involved in STEM.

She said she was delighted to make the finals and that her app’s success made her “ambitious for the future”.

This is not the first time an Irish team has seen success at the Technovation World Summit. Last year, Margaret Akano, Rachael Akano and Joy Njekwe from Drogheda, Co Louth, took the grand prize in the senior division for their app to help families affected by dementia.

Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic

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