Special to Iredell Free News

South Iredell High School junior Nachammai Annamalai was recently awarded the Aspirations in Computing National Award from the National Center for Women in Informatics and Technology.

She was one 40 high school girls chosen from among 3,300 applicants from across the United States. Recipients were honored during a ceremony at the Bank of America headquarters in Charlotte.

Annamalai lives in Mooresville. She is passionate about the fusion of engineering, medicine, and computer science and enjoys utilizing these disciplines for social good. 

From a young age, she has enjoyed exploring technical aspects by tinkering with gadgets and now creates opportunities for students in her area to do the same. Motivated to address the gap, she runs STEM workshops in partnership with her local library to provide holistic STEM exposure and opportunities for underprivileged teens. Similarly, she orchestrates the Pathways to STEM program, which aims to educate students—impacting the lives of students in 14 different countries—on STEM careers through hands-on workshops with professionals.

She is the founder of her school’s first-ever Coding Club, through which she runs statewide hackathons and summer camps for students in Title 1 schools. She enjoys using code, human-centered design, and machine learning to solve relevant, real-world problems. Outside of school, she conducts research on background radiation and speech intelligibility, develops coding-infused curricula for students K-12, and has engineered a sustainable water generator as well as a patient interfacing software paired with a Bluetooth insulin pen for Type 1 Diabetes patients. She has presented her research at state and national conferences, such as the Science Fair and the Conrad Challenge. She is also a Bharatanatyam (Indian Classical Dance) graduate, a published author of “The Lost Shadow” and a nationally recognized Tamil debater. 

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