Pursuing an engineering passion

Nithilan Rengapragash

Lenape freshman takes first place in competitive science contests

Engineering is a passion for Lenape High School freshman Nithilan Rengapragash.

He started competing in engineering and robotics competitions in middle school. At Lenape, Rengapragash has earned first-place finishes in two highly competitive science competitions by creating projects that essentially offer solutions to problems.

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He competed in the March Coriell Science Fair, a regional science event hosted at Camden County College, placing first in the computer science category. That qualified him for the Delaware Valley Science Fair in April. There, Rengapragash also competed in the computer science division for ninth graders and took first place with his project, LifeSavior – A Low-Cost, Vision-Based Approach To Elderly Fall Detection.

LifeSavior, in the student’s own words, was designed to detect if someone falls and is not near a caretaker or anyone else who can respond. Rengapragash came up with an automated system that helps streamline the process of getting help.

Rengapragash’s inspiration for the project came from his surroundings.

“I looked around in my daily life (and) I saw my grandparents would struggle (moving around),” he noted, adding his grandfather had fallen and didn’t tell anyone until he had to.

“I realized that many older people around the world must be facing this problem,” Rengapragash explained.

According to his mother, Geetha Purushothaman, Rengapragash has always found solutions for problems he noticed around him.

“We know that he is a highly motivated and a driven individual,” she observed. “We saw this from (an) earlier age. He likes to get inspired from the issues around him in the community.

“He inspired everyone, many friends, and some of his friends also joined the robotics team and are following his passion.”

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