This is the third year that Pearson, an education publishing company based in New York City, has put on their Student Coding Contest. The contest is looking for educational apps to integrate with their own interfaces, designed by college students working solo or in teams.
This year, the top prize was taken by Anisha Srivastava with her app Lightpath, a research aid meant to link students together and allow them to help each other broaden the depth of their research. The name comes from its focus on “light bulb moments,” or the instant a concept or source makes sense. Students can share their light bulb moments with one another in the form of summaries, links to outside information, or highlighted moments in their texts and other resources.
Srivastava coded her app herself, and in fact got the idea for it at coding camp in the summer of 2014.
“I started looking at [my] notes and realized what I was focusing on was those little segments,” she said. “And that’s when I got the idea.”
Her prize for winning the contest is $5000 in cash, but the goal of the contest is to help participants land good jobs in the coding industry. Coding is in high and growing demand worldwide, and it is particularly lucrative in STEM fields. Women are underrepreseneted at every level in STEM (which stands for Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math), so it is particularly encouraging to see a woman winning at this level so young.
Coding appears to be what Srivastava is meant to do–and, more importantly, what she wants to do. One can only hope she goes far.