Brilliant Teen’s Stroke-Detecting Invention Gets Recognized At National STEM Contest

by Gee NY
Naya Ellis designed her stroke-detecting device through STEM NOLA

Naya Ellis, a 14-year-old freshman at John F. Kennedy High School in New Orleans, has recently gained nationwide attention for her groundbreaking invention that detects signs of stroke in adults.

Named a champion in the National STEM Challenge, Naya’s invention, a watch called WingItt, has captured the imagination of judges and experts in the field.

“I never thought that I would win,” Naya told the The74, who adds that she looks forward to presenting her watch and seeing the other inventions at the festival.

The journey to creating WingItt began with Naya’s personal experiences and a desire to make a meaningful impact.

Inspired by her mother’s battle with breast cancer and her grandmother’s struggle with stroke, Naya combined her love for science with a passion for helping others.

Naya’s involvement in STEM NOLA, a program offering hands-on STEM projects for K-12 students, provided the platform for her innovative idea to take shape.

Initially planning to design a watch to detect seizures, Naya pivoted her project after her grandmother’s stroke, recognizing the need for a device to detect internal symptoms of stroke.

“I want to do something I’m interested in, that will also change the world,” says Naya.

The WingItt watch operates by detecting nerve impulses and heartbeats, offering a non-invasive method to identify potential stroke incidents.

Naya’s focus on affordability ensures accessibility for older adults, a demographic often overlooked in the tech market.

Selected as one of 126 champions out of over 2,500 participants nationwide, Naya’s achievement reflects her dedication and ingenuity.

The upcoming National STEM Challenge festival in Washington, D.C., will provide a platform for Naya to showcase her invention alongside other talented young innovators.

Reflecting on her journey, Naya encourages younger students to explore STEM opportunities, emphasizing the transformative impact of programs like STEM NOLA.

With dreams of pursuing a career as an obstetrician-gynecologist, Naya’s commitment to empowering women and making a positive difference continues to inspire those around her.

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