SWENext Global Innovator Award

For building a solid foundation toward future success and fulfillment in engineering by demonstrating intellectual curiosity, enthusiasm, persistence, and leadership.

Hiya  California

An aspiring computer science and electrical engineer, Hiya is the president of her high school’s SWENext club and founder and executive director of TheCodeBakery, a global peer-learning nonprofit that provides hands-on teaching to underrepresented youth from seven countries. She applies engineering principles while researching low-energy filters at the Materials Engineering Division of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to mitigate high water contaminant levels in her hometown. When she learned residents were not aware of their own water quality, she built an iOS app and Arduino sensor to estimate real-time household water quality. Earlier this year, she was selected as the winner of the Congressional App Challenge for California’s 15th Congressional District.

Madalyn  California

Madalyn is the founder of her high school’s SWENext club and currently serves as its president. She started the club in 2018 to support girls on her robotics team. In 2019, she traveled to WE Local in St. Louis to represent her team for the DesignLab Community Engagement Challenge and received a grant for their proposed event, Girls in STEM Inspiration Day 2019. The following year, Madalyn’s team received a DesignLab grant for their “Go Baby Go” program that provides modified ride-on cars to young children with disabilities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she used her knowledge of computer-aided design (CAD) to combat exposure by creating a sneeze guard for a local health provider, which is still in use today. Madalyn plans to pursue a career as a computer science engineer.

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Janise  Pennsylvania

Janise is an aspiring computer science and electrical engineer and co-founder of her school’s SWENext club. She currently serves the club as director of outreach. As a long-standing member of the Girls of Steel, an all-female First® Robotics Competition team, she serves as the programming lead and FIRST LEGO® League co-lead, spearheading her team’s initiatives in building and competing globally with semi-autonomous robots. She co-founded and developed the BuzzBandSM a patent-pending vibration device that motivates youth with autism to exercise through tactile stimulation. The device was selected as a Lemelsom-MIT InvenTeams® finalist. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Janise recruited and led a team in developing CITISYNC, a highly accurate occupancy tracking system that tracks the number of occupants within a facility at a specific time. Her team was selected as grand champions of the Governor’s STEM Competition.

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Alyssa  California

Alyssa is founder and president of the STEM Out club at her school, as well as founder and executive director of the organization Full STEAM Ahead. An aspiring computer science and robotics engineer, she received the 2021 WE Local SWENext STEM in Action Award for organizing an international app design hackathon during the pandemic, and she is in the process of developing an app that connects students with STEM teams based on their locations, interests, and availability. The app earned honorable mention in the Congressional App Challenge and is currently in the Google Play Store for testing. Inspired by a field trip during the SWENext High School Leadership Academy, she is working to produce and market an antibacterial doll to comfort children’s hospital patients in California.

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Megan  California

The founder and executive director of Tech Girls United and president of the organization GAITEway (Girls in AI and Tech Education) at her school, Megan looks forward to a career as a computer science engineer. After noticing a lack of female engagement in robotics in her local area, she started an all-female VEX Robotics competition team. Her role allowed her to mentor newer members and qualify for the state and world championships last year. In 2020, she hosted a data science summer camp to teach girls about data science and its machine learning applications, reaching more than 100 participants from 15 states and 18 countries. Over the last year, Megan has hosted workshops and panels on UX design, fintech, robotics, and information science, and this summer she hosted a conference to help young women explore careers in tech.


Kiley  Virginia

Kiley is founder and president of the SWENext club at her high school and vice president of a Girls Who Code club. Her dream as a future civil engineer is to create public transit systems that reduce reliance on cars and support healthy communities. As president of her SWENext club, despite hosting meetings entirely online, she organized virtual events with five fifth-grade classes to talk about the rover Perseverance and created a presentation that reached 1,800 students. Through SWENext, Kiley was inspired to apply for a role as the president of her school’s Science National Honor Society. Next year, Kiley will continue to share her love of engineering as the club’s co-president.