This 14-Year-Old Created A Watch To Detect The Signs Of Stroke

Last updated on Apr 2, 2024

Posted on Apr 2, 2024

14-year-old Naya Ellis has had a passion for science since childhood, driven by her aspiration to make a meaningful difference in the medical realm. Her journey traces back to the age of 7 when she tended to her mother, battling breast cancer, diligently changing bandages in a gesture of love and care. Today, as a freshman at John F. Kennedy High School in New Orleans, Naya's fervor for science and her altruistic spirit led to her unveiling a groundbreaking creation—a watch engineered to detect early signs of strokes in adults. Recognized as a champion in the esteemed National STEM Challenge, Naya stands poised to revolutionize healthcare with her innovative invention.

Naya's ingenuity took flight at STEM NOLA, an initiative empowering K-12 students, particularly those from low-income backgrounds, to engage in hands-on STEM projects. Drawn by a desire to stay productive, she enrolled in the organization's eight-month STEM fellowship, unwittingly embarking on a transformative odyssey. Stemming from her participation in STEM Saturday—a platform fostering inventive endeavors among students—Naya's eureka moment struck when she decided to create a watch tailored for stroke detection, inspired by her grandmother's own battle with the condition. Thus, 'WingItt' was born.

Utilizing cutting-edge technology, WingItt operates by discerning nerve impulses and heartbeats, offering a preemptive means of detecting strokes before visible symptoms manifest. Motivated by a desire to cater to the elderly demographic most vulnerable to strokes, Naya meticulously fine-tunes her prototype, ensuring its efficacy in distinguishing stroke indicators from other physiological anomalies. Moreover, driven by a sense of social responsibility, she strives to make her invention financially accessible to seniors who don't have the means to purchase pricy health-monitoring gadgets like iPhones and Apple Watches.

With aspirations to create change while pursuing her interests, Naya's journey epitomizes the transformative potential of STEM education. Selected as one of 126 standout students nationwide in the National STEM Challenge, she prepares to showcase her groundbreaking creation at the forthcoming festival in Washington, D.C., an honor bestowed upon her by the U.S. Department of Education and EXPLR.

For students within her community, she exemplifies the benefits of STEM NOLA, an invaluable resource that has broadened her horizons and instilled in her a sense of limitless possibility. As she embarks on her freshman year, Naya's aspirations extend beyond the realm of invention; her ambitions include excelling in softball, securing a college scholarship, and ultimately, realizing her dream of becoming an obstetrician-gynecologist—a beacon of hope and empowerment for women everywhere.

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