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FCAHS Team Named First Runner-Up in Governor's STEM Competition

A team of Fox Chapel Area High School students was named the 1st runner-up in Division 1 of the ninth annual Governor’s STEM Competition. The team members are senior Janise Kim, juniors Prajval Sreenivas and Ananth Kashyap, and freshmen Alex Kim and Swati Mylarappa

The group developed a product called MOOD, a low-cost, artificial intelligence-driven psychotherapy assistant that addresses the unique, real-time needs of individuals struggling with various mental health issues. MOOD bridges the gap between patients and medical professionals by remotely establishing a reliable path of communication. The wearable device measures the user’s health-related information and relays the data via a mobile application to the user’s health professional. It also tracks anomalies in the user’s health or behavior that may include potential triggers, episodes, and other hazards.

This year, the Governor’s STEM Competition challenged 54 teams of students in grades 9-12 from across the state to research, design, and present a device or project that would make the quality of life better for Pennsylvanians by accomplishing a series of practical tasks to solve real-world problems. The theme was “Improving Pennsylvania Through STEM.”  

“This annual competition highlights the incredible work Pennsylvania’s students and educators are doing in STEM in schools across the commonwealth,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “STEM education bridges the gap between today’s learners and tomorrow’s workforce and provides them with the critical skills they’ll need for the careers of the future.”

According to Pennsylvania’s Acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty, “The Pennsylvania Department of Education applauds this year’s STEM competition winners and appreciates all of the teams that participated. Pennsylvania has long been seen as a national leader in STEM, and the projects entered into this year’s contest show just how talented and knowledgeable our commonwealth’s students are, no matter which district they call home.”

Part of the competition requirements was that teams work with a member of their local community, a business, or an educational entity. The Fox Chapel Area High School students worked with experts in the mental health field from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and the UPMC Health Plan. 

The Fox Chapel Area High School team was named a winner in the Division 1 category that included teams of students with a majority of returning members who had participated in the state competition in the past. The group received a trophy for their placement. 

The Fox Chapel Area High School students’ advisor was gifted support facilitator Lisa Gibson.