Sreya at the 2015 White House Science Fair
Participating in the White House Science Fair, including the Girls in STEM Discussion Student Roundtable at the Fair, was an absolutely inspirational and motivating experience! Being able to interact with such diverse and passionate individuals provided me with a platform to form new connections and learn about the fantastic work that the rising generation is doing to create change and make a difference in the community. Thank you so much to NCWIT for providing me with such a phenomenal opportunity to make friends for life!
My day at the Fair started off with being involved in the Girls in STEM Discussion Student Roundtable. Meeting with distinguished individuals and senior policy advisers like Valerie Jarrett, who were so invested in learning about us, was an amazing experience, and it gave a very intimate and personal feeling to the Roundtable. I was able to share why I was interested in STEM, my journey in STEM and why I chose to pursue it, and my vision for increasing awareness and involvement of women in STEM across the country through policy initiatives. Learning about the journeys of other participants was so inspiring and allowed me to form connections that I’m positive will last a lifetime.
After the Roundtable, we went to meet and take a group picture with none other than President Obama! Meeting him in person was just an awe-inspiring experience – he’s an incredibly charismatic and personable individual, and the pride and delight that he expressed while speaking with us meant so much. Having the President of the United States personally say that he believes in you and your future is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Another highlight of the day was hearing his speech to the public about the future of STEM policy initiatives and how young leaders truly have the ability to create a long-term and sustainable impact in their communities and the global sphere because of the tremendous work they’re conducting. Having someone believe in your work and your passion is a thrilling feeling, and it’s certainly compounded when it’s the President!
I then had the chance to go around and speak with other participants and presenters at the Fair, learning about the myriad of disciplines they were pursuing and how they were taking the opportunities to make great strides and leave a long-lasting impact on those around them. It was so inspiring to see, hear, touch, and in some cases, taste, the projects! I also had the chance to meet personnel from the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), who did a phenomenal job of organizing and conducting such a successful event!
Overall, I had an absolutely amazing experience at the White House Science Fair, meeting such motivated and dedicated individuals, being able to talk about my passion and research in STEM, forming relationships with some of the most talented people I’ve ever met, and so much more! Thank you so much for everything once again, NCWIT!
Sreya Atluri, a 2015 national runner-up, analyzed the mathematical dynamics of the mental fatigue phenomenon, which affects performance and the ability to stay focused by decreasing concentration efficiency. Her work has been recognized at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Summer Poster Day and several science fairs. Sreya is the Founder and CEO of Creating Awareness in Research and Education (www.careworldwide.org) as well as an Executive Director of Growth and Inspiration through Volunteering and Education (www.giveyouth.org).