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Local teen finalist among aspiring scientists, engineers in country

Posted at 6:42 AM, Sep 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-21 09:48:03-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Behind the research board project that placed top 300 in the national broadcom master's STEM competition, is Scripps Ranch High's freshman, Agastya Sridharan.

"It started when I was reading a Wall Street report saying google search results were bias and it was shocking to me."

Agastya created a Google platform mock-up that surveyed people's perceptions on political candidates, based on search engine results. "I had a few political search results which were arranged in 5 different orders, one favoring a liberal, one favoring a conservative. Once I got the results back, I was shocked how much it changed people's perspectives by 30%."

And it wasn't just his creativeness that got the judge's attention. He was also asked to answer two questions, one to offer a solution to the global wildfire issue. "You'd have a fleet of drones that'd detect fires with image processions and AI, that was my idea for solving the wildfires." His sharp responses then placed him in the top 30. "I just freaked out, it was incredible."

Next month, Agastya will be competing in the final round as the contest goes virtual for the first time amid COVID-19. He said the most exciting takeaway so far, has been seeing others his age come up with real solutions that could change the world.

"They've really tried to solve some of the problems pressing the world today. Like how to approach the problems our world face because we're going to be the ones inhibiting it, right?"