Weekly, titled “Santa Clara Techies and Tinkerers Convene at the Twelfth Annual Bay Area Maker Faire,” features a brief interview with a couple SLI middle school students:
…Santa Clara students at the Faire included Cabrillo Middle School eighth graders Samhitha Hebbale and Lekhana Vankayala, who presented their project on crystallization. They are part of a competitive 6-year program known as the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute that, according to program director Jennifer Lee, receives over a hundred applications each year for 60 spots. Students enroll in the seventh grade and commit to over 300 extra hours of instruction–before and after regular school hours, weekends and summers–focused on STEM-skills and leadership development. They also get an inside look at what an actual STEM job entails.

…Santa Clara students at the Faire included Cabrillo Middle School eighth graders Samhitha Hebbale and Lekhana Vankayala, who presented their project on crystallization. They are part of a competitive 6-year program known as the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute

The article in the Santa Clara

“We get to meet people from different companies and they describe what they do in their jobs,” Habbale explained. Though the 13-year-old admitted that she didn’t know specifically what she’d like to do in the future, she was certain about one thing. “I’m going to use what I learned here to tackle problems in the real world to improve lives,” she said.

Vankayala appreciated the hands-on experience. “I used to be very shy,” the 14-year-old said, “But this program taught me how to work hard and be competitive–and be nice and cooperative at the same time.”

For the full article, visit The Santa Clara Weekly website.


Return to 49ers SLI Program Page →

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