First Name

Saanya

Last Name

B.

Bio

Saanya is junior at Westlake High School in Austin Texas. She has been involved with FIRST Robotics program since her freshman year. Her FTC team won the UIL State Championship in 2016 and also placed 7th at the Robotics World Championship in St. Louis. She is currently the Outreach co-lead for her school’s varsity FRC Robotics team. She is on the executive committee and a co-founder of a student-led organization called SACOT (STEM Advocacy Conference of Texas) with a mission to give high school students a voice in their STEM education through political advocacy. She traveled to Washington D.C. for the National Advocacy Conference to meet Texas Senators and Representatives to encourage the passing of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). She is a member of her high school's Mu Alpha Theta chapter and the National Honor Society. Saanya is also a keen environmental activist and the founder of impact.gravitas, a youth organization focused on increasing awareness and developing collaborative solutions to the growing problem of ocean plastic pollution. She is a youth ambassador for the Plastic Pollution Coalition and the Lonely Whale foundation and leads work in her community against the use of single-use plastics. Saanya was invited to be a speaker at the Change Makers panel at SXSW in 2017 where she shared her work on STEM advocacy and plastic pollution. In the summer of 2017, Saanya was selected to the competitive First Bytes program at the Computer Science department at the University of Texas at Austin where got a chance to explore the field of CS as applied to real business and engineering problems. She was also selected to the Yale Young Global Scholars program, a highly selective residential program at Yale where she studied and completed projects in Biological and Biomedical Sciences. She is interested in pursuing inter-disciplinary studies in engineering where she can build on her experiences to further her study through a degree program in technology and/or computing as applied to areas of human and environmental health.