Freshman Si Ya “Wendy” Ni Presents Semi-Automatic Subway Track Cleaner at White House Science Fair

Freshman Si Ya “Wendy” Ni Presents Semi-Automatic Subway Track Cleaner at White House Science FairIn April 2016, President Obama hosted the annual White House Science Fair to showcase the work of young students who excel in science and mathematics.  Over 130 students displayed their projects at the fair, including Si Ya “Wendy” Ni.

Ni began her engineering project while attending Baruch College Campus High School in New York City. Her team of 11 received a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant of $10,000 with their proposal for a semi-automatic vacuum cleaner.  The teams include students, educators, and mentors who invent solutions for real-world problems.  The vacuum was designed to clean the subway tracks of New York. It attaches to the flatbed car of a work train, and is semi-automatic using light and ultrasonic sensors and four pneumatic cylinders. 

At the White House Ni and her team demonstrated the vacuum and answered questions from the press. They met with President Obama, and spoke with Bill Nye the Science Guy. Ni credits part of this success to the skills she learned as a freshman at Marist, including HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and Java. Ni’s goals are now focused on school work and applying to work for the IBM Joint Study at Marist.  

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