Students present business ideas to Yahoo! experts

Jivani Gengatharan

This year’s STEMFest included Harvard- Westlake’s own “Change the World Idea Competition,” an opportunity for students to receive feedback on environmentally beneficial tech business ideas from Yahoo! tech experts, a new addition to the annual science and math festival.

Students were sent an email informing them how to prepare their presentations and the potential questions that would be answered by the panel.

It also explained the areas of expertise of each of the six guests, their names and the number of years they’ve been working at Yahoo.

Though it was intended for students to present organized pitches to a panel of six tech experts, the competition, which was held in Chalmers sixth and seventh period, was rearranged and instead had people separated into their own small group, with each group having one mentor.

Students then got to ask questions and present their environmentally beneficial ideas to the leader of their group.

The leader then gave suggestions on how to improve on their ideas. If a student’s ideas were interesting to any of the six guests, he or she could be selected for Intel Science Talent Search or one of the Siemens competitions.

“This year, the corporate visitors [at STEMFest] were Spencer Aerospace and Yahoo. Mario Portillo ’15 also made a great display about careers in that field,” Math Department Head Paula Evans said.

The Harvard-Westlake Change the World Competition is in its sixth year and Evans plans to continue the annual competition.
“Everyone said it was interesting,” Evans said. “The projects were amazing and it was so much fun. In the next years, I hope to keep honoring student work, collaboration and encourage inventions and research.”