Brother Sister Duo promote STEM and computer science in underrepresented communities

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Sujay Sundar and Sahana Sundar are two Indian American students from Jericho, NY who are the NY chapter leaders of Girls Computing League (GCL), a non-profit to promote STEM and computer science in underrepresented communities. Sahana recently won the first prize at the 2020 NY State Archives Student Research Awards while Sujay got a certificate of merit for the same.

Sahana (11), a girl scout cadet created a website to raise funds for young cancer survivors and helped facilitate a robotics club.
Photo courtesy Girls Computing League (
Sujay (15) presented a Scratch-based application on Environmental best practices at the New York Hall of Science STEM night and received a special mention from the New York City Chancellor. Photo courtesy Girls Computing League

Very active in the community, the siblings have been conducting free technology sessions and workshops for students across the US during the pandemic. Machine learning workshop, robotics webinar, python programming workshop, and application development series are a few of them that Sahana and Sujan conducted under GCL, as their father Venugopalan Sundar mentioned in an email to News India Times.

Sujay (15), a sophomore at Jericho high school (NY) and a science research and engineering design student, is very passionate about computer and biosciences, business management and math.

He presented a Scratch-based application on Environmental best practices, in elementary school, at the New York Hall of Science STEM night and this received a special mention from the New York City Chancellor.

Sujay was selected to represent his school at the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) New York State competition for which he built a GUI application to track student community service hours. He also received the first prize, among Long Island high schools, in the Emerging Leaders Business Competition in the Healthcare Category.

Actively involved in leading activities as the GCL chapter leader since May 2020, Sujay is also pursuing research under the mentorship of a neuroscience professor in CUNY.

Sujay says, in his bio on GCL website, “As the GCL Chapter leader in New York, I hope to share my passion for computer science with the community, particularly in under-represented demographics, by conducting hackathons, innovation workshops, STEAM days and facilitating tech clubs. A recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Gold Award, I am in the advisory board for teens at a local public library in Nassau. I am CPR trained and helped build face shields for local first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. In my spare time, I enjoy playing basketball, pursuing classical music and am a member of my school’s chess team.”

Sahana (11), a 6th grader at Jericho middle school (NY), is a class ambassador for shared decision making and is passionate about robotics, coding, math, app and website development. She has helped raise funds for young cancer survivors, is on the teen advisory board of a public library, and is the recipient of the President’s volunteer service Gold award and a special mention from the New York City chancellor on STEM night.

Actively involved in leading activities as the GCL chapter leader since May 2020, Sahana is also a Girl Scout cadet. She created a website to raise funds for young cancer survivors and helped facilitate a robotics club in 4th grade.

Sahana says, in her bio on GCL website “As part of GCL, I have conducted Python programming, Robotics (FLL and FTC), and web and app development training sessions. I am in the advisory board for teens at a local public library in Nassau and also helped build face shields for local first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. I authored and submitted a scientific paper on risk and spread mitigation strategies for pandemics to a national educational organization. In my spare time, I enjoy playing basketball and chess, designing mandala art, playing the violin, pursuing classical vocal music and dance.”

Sujay and Sahana both assisted a GCL team in a clinical trial project towards building a web-based tool to locate eligible clinical trials for more than 9 million veterans and 50 million patients on Medicare/Medicaid. The duo is pursuing several technology and soft skills courses offered by institutions like Yale, Johns Hopkins, MIT and Columbia. They are judges at GCL’s annual national AInnovation Business Summit AIdeathon event and part of the 1000 schools initiative to help disadvantaged schools get access to STEM education.

 

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