June 6, 2024

HEX Alumni Series: How This Year 12 Student Is Fighting Climate Change Using AI

HEX Alumni Series: How This Year 12 Student Is Fighting Climate Change Using AI

At HEX, we foster innovation and empower young minds to tackle the world's biggest challenges. 

Olivia Hedge's story is a shining example of how our digital programs equip students with the tools and networks they need to make a real difference.

Who is she?

Olivia Hedge (HEXIE)

Meet Olivia, a remarkable 16-year-old with a passion for using technology to solve global challenges. This year 12 student from regional Victoria is driven by a deep connection between environmental and human health.

Olivia's interest in environmental issues led her to participate in the SpaceBase: Space for Planet Earth Challenge, an international research incubator program. Her focus? Developing an AI that could identify small-scale methane emissions from wetlands.

From the HEX Digital Program to the SpaceBase Challenge: Building the Skills and Network for Success

While Olivia's passion for the environment ignited her participation in the SpaceBase Challenge, it was HEX's course that equipped her with the necessary tools and mindset. The program provided Olivia with:

  • Fresh perspectives on the future: She learned to analyze history and the present to identify opportunities for innovation and problem-solving.
  • A new approach to environmental management: The course emphasized the crucial role of AI and data processing in understanding human impact on the planet and fostering sustainable practices.
  • A powerful network: Through HEX, Olivia gained access to a supportive community of like-minded individuals.

This network proved invaluable when Olivia faced a major hurdle during the SpaceBase Challenge: a lack of coding experience to develop the final AI prototype.

The Power of Community

Varshith Meesala (HEXIE), Lead Software Development Engineer at Sindy

Olivia didn't hesitate to leverage the HEX Slack group. There, she connected with Varshith Meesala, a fellow HEXIE with expertise in software development. Varshith's assistance became critical in developing the final neural network, the heart of Olivia's AI for methane emission detection.

From Prototype to Real-World Impact: Olivia's Journey Continues

Olivia and Varshith's collaboration resulted in winning the Grand Prize for her project. Now, Olivia is determined to refine it into a practical tool for scientists. She's reaching out to leading organizations in conservation, space exploration, and data science to explore the next steps.

Olivia's story is a testament to the potential of AI for positive change. It also highlights the power of supportive communities like HEX in fostering innovation and collaboration.

At HEX, we're incredibly proud of Olivia's achievements and her dedication to using technology for good. We're excited to see how her project evolves and contributes to a healthier planet for all.

Inspired by their winning story? Apply now to HEX Degree Accelerator and equip yourself with the ultimate toolkit to stand out from your peers, while also connecting you with a supportive community.

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