Cupertino students win STEM challenge

A pair of Cupertino students have won a major STEM challenge, sponsored by General Motors and social-entrepreneurship nonprofit Ashoka.

Navya Rao and Aarushi Agrawal started their initiative Bee Aware in 2020 before being recognized for this award. Rao and Agrawal are using technology to understand the analyze threats to honeybee colonies.

The competition, tilted ‘Our Planet, Our Purpose: STEM for Changemaking Challenge’ is a nationwide contest. 25 winning teams were chosen among hundreds of applicants, all between ages 14-18.

Rao and Agrawal hope to use their $1,000 seed funding prize to expand their impact locally, sharing bee-friendly practices.

Each winning team also gets to participate in an online summit July 22-24, which features speakers, mentorship from GM leaders, and networking opportunities.

“Our team is really excited to learn and grow at the Summit, and to use our seed funding to take our project to the next level,” Rao and Agrawal said in an email.

Dr. Jane Goodall, famed researcher and advocate for scientific discovery, is scheduled to give the keynote address.

Rao and Agrawal’s win comes a month after another Cupertino student won a prestigious ‘Young Scientist’ competition sponsored by 3M.