JHS Junior Named Finalist for Iowa Women of Innovation Award
Johnston student Sanjana Amatya has been named a finalist in the Technology Association of Iowa (TAI) 10th annual Iowa Women of Innovation Awards Presented by Workiva. The awards recognize and celebrate women in business, government and academia who are leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Amatya, who is a junior at JHS, is a finalist for the Youth Innovation and Leadership award. If selected as a winner, she will receive a $2,500 scholarship.
According to the TAI website, “Finalists were selected based on their professional experience; history of innovation; ability to think creatively and solve problems; and demonstration of leadership. Students were judged on inventiveness and accomplishment in science and technology, as well as academic achievement.”
Amatya’s involvement in tech-related clubs and organizations is impressive. She has been in the Technology Student Association (TSA) for two years and has also invested time and effort into a FIRST Robotics Competition team, ASAP, where she is the captain.
“By becoming the ASAP captain I’ve realized how much the experiences I’ve gained have influenced my life and I hope to share that with others,” Amatya said. “By going to outreach events and promoting STEM, I hope to show people that FIRST is just more than robots. Most of the challenges I’ve faced have had to do with communication skills and lack of self-confidence. I’ve always had a hard time expressing my ideas and the two years I’ve been on team ASAP have given me the confidence to reach for opportunities I would have never have taken in the past and use my skills to the best of my ability. I’ve learned how to take initiative when I need to and believe in myself as a team member and captain.”
Being the leader she in, Amatya has also mentored younger students in two First Lego League teams, including this year’s Himalayan Hackers and their hydro dynamics challenge. She’s participated in the First Tech Challenge and is planning on trying some new tech ventures this year.
“I’ve been in most of these organizations since ninth grade,” Amatya said. “I’m excited to try a few new ones this year including Science Olympiad and maybe Hyper-Stream.”
As for her future, Amatya said she’s interested in computer programming and computer science-based careers. While she said she hasn’t figured out all the specifics of life beyond high school graduation, her involvement in tech-based clubs has fueled a passion for lifelong career in the field.
Award winners will be announced during the Iowa Women of Innovation Awards Presented by Workiva awards dinner held at the Meadows Event Center at Prairie Meadows on Monday, November 13.