One of the Intertech Foundation’s focuses is the inspiration of young people towards the building of science, engineering, and technology skills. To further that pursuit, the Foundation has announced its Fall 2020 STEM scholarship for students interested in pursuing careers as professional software developers. This opportunity helps current college students or college-bound high school seniors who have excelled in the areas of Math and Science and plan to pursue college studies in the field of computer science.
This non-renewable scholarship* (only awarded for one year to any scholarship recipient), in the amount of $2500, will be available for college or high school applicants starting January 1st, 2020. To be eligible, the student must possess:
Cumulative high school or at least one full year of college GPA of 3.3 or better
An intent to study computer science
Currently enrolled at or accepted to an accredited college or university within the US (not required at time of application)**
Every year brings a host of qualified applications from talented college-bound high school students across the country who are interested in pursuing a degree in computer sciences. This year was no different. Amazed by the drive, inspiration, and accomplishments of these young individuals, picking among so many qualified applicants is always a struggle. But this year’s selection took on additional meaning for us. Amidst COVID-19, the 2020 graduating class has faced numerous challenges and unprecedented situations. Yet despite it all, what came through in reading all of the applications was an unwavering excitement to take the next step and an unfailing commitment to pursue their goals.
In light of what’s happening in the world, instead of one scholarship, we are awarding four recipients for the 2020 Intertech Foundation STEM Scholarship. We will award two more scholarships this summer.
Congratulations to Emily Dahl
Emily, a senior graduating from Eden Prairie High School in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, captain of her varsity Track & Field team, and a black belt in karate, is planning on attending Creighton University in the fall to pursue a degree in Computer Science. One of the things that stood out to us about Emily was her unique interest in applying computer science to an early passion of hers, biology. Emily hopes to use her computer science degree to explore and aid research within the biological sciences, an area where technology has helped make several exciting advancements in the past years. We think she’s got a few things going for her!
Q: When did you first decide you wanted to be a biotechnology software engineer?
After completion of the AP biology course at my high school, I knew I had a love for the science behind our existence. For a long time I thought I would pursue a degree in biology, but realized that I didn’t want to commit to the tedious career path many aspiring doctors take. My AP biology teacher recommended I look into a career within the biology field, but use my computer skills to help in a very different way than I envisioned — as a software engineer.
Q: What made you interested in this field and computer science?
The basis of computer science is founded in math and problem solving, two things which I loved throughout my k-12 education. I knew I wanted to help others, and in this field I realized I could directly contribute to the health and well being of others!
Q: Did you have any educational or extracurricular experiences during your K-12 years that helped you decide on computer science?
Freshmen year, I took Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles which introduced me to the world of computer science. That was the only true computer class I took, but somehow coding managed to find its way into my other classes. I would use the basic skills from this course to create applications for business, english, and science classes!
Q: What school have you selected to attend and why did you choose it for your undergraduate studies?
Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. I landed on Creighton University because of the hands-on education they provide, my acceptance into a selective research program, and the strong liberal arts curriculum.
Q: What does the Intertech Foundation Scholarship mean to your academic journey?
The value of the Intertech STEM scholarship will be invaluable to my academic journey. Knowing that there are people who support my desire to pursue a career in a male dominated industry gave me so much confidence and reassurance in my choice. I couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity.
Q: What would you like to share with others who may be considering a computer science career?
Computer science develops the skills necessary to think logically, collaborate with others, and innovate in extraordinary ways. There also isn’t a better time to pursue a career in computer science! Computer technology is at the heart of many endeavors to make a meaningful difference in the world, whether through medical advances, scientific research, helping marginalized groups, or many other areas.
Thank you, Emily, for applying. We look forward to hearing about many great things from you in the future!
More STEM Scholarship Opportunities
If you are interested or know someone that is looking for some financial help, we are offering two more STEM scholarships this fall. Deadlines and application information can be found at 2020 Intertech Foundation STEM Scholarships
At Intertech, we’ve long believed in the importance of giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve our customers. The Intertech Foundation STEM Scholarship is just one of the ways we have chosen to give back. Amidst a challenging landscape, what resonated with our Grant committee was the hope and excitement the applicants have for our future. Their feelings were contagious, so much so that we decided to award four scholarships in 2020. The first two winners have been selected and notified. We’re offering two more scholarships this fall with the application process starting now.
Let’s start by getting to know our first scholarship winner Sulaiman Bada.
Congratulations to Sulaiman Bada!
Technology with the ability to learn the same way humans do is mindblowing, and Sulaiman Bada wants to be part of this amazing technology! Accumulating 19 college credits while still in high school, Sulaiman has demonstrated his determination and ability to make the world a better place with the use of technology. One example of this is his involvement in an interdisciplinary collaboration between Physics, Computer Science, and design, where Sulaiman led a team that proposed solar panels to power technology that would display environmental readings and now community information. We are proud to offer Sulaiman an Intertech Foundation STEM Scholarship for the upcoming school year.
To give you a better chance to get to know this future Machine Learning /Artificial Intelligence engineer, we have asked him a few questions.
Q: When did you first decide you wanted to be involved in Computer Science, particularly Data Science and Artificial Intelligence?
I first decided I wanted to be involved in Computer Science early fall of 2019. I chose Data Science in particular because of how it mixes so well with Computer Science. A combination of these fields makes A.I, and that is where my interest lies.
Q: What made you interested in this field and computer science??
The boundless opportunities in Computer Science and the field of A.I is what made me so interested. I love the fact that I can bring anything I can think of to life. It gives me a sense of inspiration and drive to use it to help people.
Q: Did you have any educational or extracurricular experiences during your k-12 years that helped you decide on computer science?
Absolutely. My most predominant experience was in Robotics. The program really helped me figure out what I wanted to do. There are so many different teams you can be part of in Robotics. I developed an algorithm using Slack API, google scripts, and google forms to make distributing match information throughout the team easier. Another great program is PSEO. This allows high school students who meet the requirements to go to college and earn credits. This program gave me a taste of what Computer Science is all about.
Q: What school have you selected to attend and why did you choose it for your undergraduate studies?
Winona State University, Minnesota. WSU is affordable and has a very good Computer Science department. It is also one of the oldest Colleges in Minnesota.
Q: What was the first program you ever wrote?
The first program I ever wrote was sophomore year in high school. I was in an engineering class, and we were working on making a servo motor rotate. At the time, I didn’t know much of what was going on, but I loved it. My eyes lit up when I saw something that I wrote came to life. It amazed me how symbols come together to create life to an inanimate object. My young mind realized then that there was so much more that can be done with this kind of technology.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your involvement in the Solar Panel Project and what you did for WalkUpSocks?
The Solar Panel project was ongoing for several years before I became involved. Very little got accomplished. The main objective of the project was to show how many different disciplines can come together to make something work. About 20+ strips of 64 LEDs were mounted on a board and powered by control devices called “FadeCandy.” The entire board was going to be solar panel powered, but the panel was recently taken down this spring semester of 2020. Now my goal is to use the board to display messages using Python and Java. The board will go on display in the College of Science and Engineering. With my involvement in the Solar Panel Project, it allowed me to help WalkUpSocks. This community project is designed to give the homeless a clean pair of socks to wear every day. The socks will be dispensed through a vending machine. My role was to be the “expert” on the embedded devices that’s going to power the vending machine. We were in the stage of acquiring a vending machine so we could strip it and add IoT devices to it (Raspberry Pi, Number Pad, etc.), but because of the pandemic, we had to put it on hold.
Q: Would you be willing to share your thoughts about the value of the Intertech STEM scholarship to your academic journey?
The Intertech STEM scholarship is going to impact my academic journey greatly. With this help, it’s going to make focusing on my school work easier. I can work less and do more school-related tasks. I can even think about going to grad school because I won’t be flooding in debt.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with others who may be considering a computer science career?
Always be willing to step outside the box and reach for those opportunities. They are out there. It is just a matter of finding them. Be willing to love and accept math because computer science is based on it.
Thank you, Sulaiman, for applying. We look forward to hearing about many great things from you in the future!