In response to the high stress levels in today’s high schools, four high school juniors from Concord and Walnut Creek decided to create the Unwind App, an app to help individuals relieve stress.
They entered the app into an international app-building competition, the Technovation Challenge, and were selected as one of eight finalists from six continents.
The students- Shion Andrew, NishthaChavda, Michelle Liang, and Ami Yuen- will pitch their app at the World Pitch in Silicon Valley on Wednesday, June 18.
They will be judged by CEOs and developers from leading companies in the technology and business sectors such as LinkedIn and Dropbox.
The winning team will receive $10,000 to further develop their app.
The Unwind App is unique for presenting an accessible, free collection of methods for relieving stress, including a daily journal with audio and writing functions, a crisis center contact button, and an interactive bubble-popping game.
Before coding, the students read studies in psychology and science journals to find the most effective methods of relieving stress, and then they digitized these methods.
To get this far, the girls also had to produce a video pitch, a demonstration video, and a seven-page business plan in which they discussed their competitive edge and financial and marketing projections in the context of the current market.
This endeavor was taken as part of Northgate High School’s STEM Club, a club founded by Liang this year to promote interest in science, technology, engineering, and math. Liang is president of the club, Andrew and Chavda are the vice presidents, and Yuen is the treasurer and one of the four representatives (one for each STEM field).
Liang has organized many activities for the club’s 30 members, including hosting science experiments at elementary schools and in Special Education classes, bringing guest speakers to the meetings, volunteering at STEM events in the community, and helping to establish teams at Northgate High for various competitions.
Besides Technovation, STEM Club members have also won awards in other competitions.
Liang, along with Jonathan Chen (11th grade) and Alex Ditzel (12th grade) received second place in the Intel-Affiliated Science and Engineering County Fair for their science project, “Preparation of Cancer Immunotherapeutic Agents: Nano Particles for Delivering Inhibitory DNAs into Mitochondria”.
Two other students won third place for their project, “Discovering the Viscosity of Various Liquids through a Game of Marbles.”
All of these students were first-time participants after learning about and working on the fair in STEM Club, just as Andrew, Chavda, Liang, and Yuen were first-time participants in the Technovation Challenge this year.
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