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Building 40 robotics projects and 3 apps at 16, Garima from Apeejay, Saket is scripting a tech-tonic story



It takes hard work and determination to succeed, and for Garima Yadav, a class 12 student at Apeejay School, Saket there are no two ways about it. At sweet 16, the talented teenager became the youngest-ever lead programmer to ever qualify for the FLL (First Lego League) European Open Championship (EOC) from India. The robotics competition aims to bring teams from across states, regions and countries to compete internationally.

Yadav won the third prize at the Championship in 2016 (Robotics) and has also bagged the eighth prize in robotics at the national-level.

Enthused to help people better their lives with her scientific study, Yadav extensively researched on the mathematics behind the architecture planned out for astronomical buildings. In 2020, she came up with the idea of building earthquake-resistant buildings to minimise the loss of life. She planned the structure along with the composition of the prototype building to make it sturdier in the event of an earthquake. She further kept in mind the cost efficiency and affordability of these structures. “I also came up with an alarm system, which originally consisted of accelerometers to detect earthquakes and warn the inhabitants of the building. This won me the INSPIRE MANAK Award 2019-2020 from the Department of Science and Technology (Ministry of Science and Technology in India) in 2020.

“At first, the prospect of representing India at an international Robotics championship was quite daunting but there was no reason for me to be intimidated by the idea of representing our country. The theme of FLL EOC was to save animals and we had to build two projects to build a robot to operate, and then create a project to save an endangered species.” 

Yadav started learning robotics at school and further she wanted to explore more. “My desire to pursue the field became stronger and thus I began to spend more and more hours on reading books, content available online on programming. For most part, I am a self-taught programmer,” she proudly states.

She has worked on more than 40 different robotics projects and has built 3 apps till date. She has also built the gyro-accelerometer earthquake detection and alarm system and has applied for a patent for the same.

An avid reader, Garima likes to engage with books on themes such as fantasy or science fiction. “This has helped me get a deeper insight of the world from different perspectives. I also prefer to programme in my free time on various things, from very simple programmes to sometimes complex programmes which I eventually submit for tournaments,” she says.

Taking up research in the field of astrophysics and cosmology, outside the school curriculum, she is inspired by the theories of Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose. “Most of my inventions focus on computational action and I would like to pursue the field of artificial intelligence or quantum computing when I grow up. My parents have played a very crucial role in developing my interest in the said fields and have supported all my decisions.”

Receiving the coveted Dr. Stya Paul Award for Human Values at school in 2020, Yadav believes that diligence and ethical values would help her go a long way. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Yadav volunteered at the Young Warrior Programme organised by Government of India and UNICEF. As a U-Reporter and Young Warrior, she played a part in convincing people to get vaccinated and helped patients by connecting them directly with a government representative to provide them medical aid.

“My dad stopped making decisions for me when I was 12 to teach me how to pave my own path. When I was younger, my mother used to tell me stories about the entire universe at bedtime which led to my love for physics and cosmology.”

Garima Yadav, student, Apeejay School, Saket 

Mrini Devnani is a Principal Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, conducts interviews, and contributes content to the website. Previously, she served as a Correspondent specialising in Edu-tech for the India Today Group. Her skill areas extend to Social Media and Digital Marketing. For any inquiries or correspondence, you can reach out to her at [email protected].