By James Hur
Four sophomores won second place in the Digital Media 16 and under division of the Oracle ThinkQuest competition.
The ThinkQuest competition requires students, divided by age groups, to identify a pertinent problem and create a solution using multimedia means. Nadia Rahman ’15, Aaron Shih ’15, Erina Szeto ’15 and Nathan Szeto ’15 combined forces in April 2011 to create their project, “From Laptops to LOLcats: Exploring Teen Tech Use,” a website designed to help teens make more informed decisions on the internet and electronic media-delivering devices such as computers.
In addition to giving advice, the group also conducted international polls and performed experiments, which explored topics ranging from the internet habits of Venezuelan teenagers to myths about electronic devices.
Through the project, the students concluded that technology is not necessarily beneficial or detrimental to society, but there are issues that come with it that people, especially teenagers, should be mindful of.
Rahman, who previously participated in ThinkQuest competitions, asked the other students to join.
The members were inspired to help teenagers when they noticed that some of their peers showing a nearly obsessive attachment to their mobile phones, Szeto said.
The group worked together for little over a year and their final project received second place in June.
Each member will be awarded with a laptop worth $1,200 and a five-day trip to the San Francisco Bay Area, where they will participate in educational workshops. In these workshops, the group will learn about technologies that Oracle specializes in.
“There were definitely ups and downs, but everything worked out in the end, which we are really grateful for,” Rahman said.