Aditya Sharma, a recent graduate of Cupertino High School, and Ishan Goyal, a student at Lynbrook High School in San Jose, California, were the most awarded high school team in the 2020 Synopsys Silicon Valley Science and Technology Championship.
Sharma, 17, and Goyal, 16, received the top prize in the Physical Science and Engineering Category at the Santa Clara Valley Science and Engineering Fair, according to a news release.
They developed Pin & Post, a mobile application that allows citizens to report wildfire hazards, such as excess vegetation near electrical transmission lines, to power utility companies.
With the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, the Synopsys Championship announced its first-ever virtual event with students uploading their project materials and preparing for an interview with the California Science & Engineering Fair judging team, the release notes.
The Indian American teens also received awards from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Association of Computing Machinery, and Trimble Inc., a Fortune 750 Company.
Sharma and Goyal also qualified for the California State Science & Engineering Fair, the release adds.
Inspired by the devastating humanitarian and environmental effects of the recent Northern California wildfires, Sharma and Goyal set out to develop their project, Pin & Post, allowing anyone to report potential fire hazards involving power lines to prevent wildfires.
Pin & Post enables concerned citizens who see a power line or utility pole that is overwhelmed with vegetation, wires, or another threat, to open the Pin & Post App, take a picture of the incident, and submit their contact information, the incident type, and a short description.
The submitted information about the issue, along with precise coordinates of its location, are sent to the utility provider, who can send out crews to cut the vegetation or otherwise fix the problem.
Filing a report now takes only seconds, as people do not have to call emergency services to get maintenance crews to come out and fix an issue.
Each report that is submitted using the application is shown on an easy to use webpage, where utility companies can see a list of locations, descriptions, and types of hazards there are concerning their power poles, according to the release.
By taking out all of the inefficiencies in the public utilities maintenance process, the pair hope to increase the safety of the power grid and prevent deadly wildfires, it said.
Sharma and Goyal plan to continue to develop technology for humanitarian benefit and make a difference in the community through their work, the release said.