Weekly roundup: Newport Harbor freshman presents at global festival, OC schools celebrate Lunar New Year, and more

Newport Harbor High School student Ryan Honary will host a panel discussion and present on the systems behind his environmental artificial intelligence-based company at a five-day global festival hosted this week by UNESCO in partnership with the Learning Planet Institute.

Newport-Mesa Unified School District student Ryan Honary
(Courtesy of Newport-Mesa Unified School District)

Ryan, a freshman, was inspired to study how fire detection technology affected emergency responses after seeing the devastating effects left by the 2018 Camp Fire. Once realizing that some of the systems in place did not provide early fire detection indicators, he set out to create his own wildfire detection system — as part of his fifth-grade science project.

Ryan has gone on to develop a company called SensorRY AI, which helps to quickly detect fires through a solar-powered network of heat detectors. The AI detectors communicate wirelessly with weather stations to send data to computers, which then report an analysis of the fire to the SensoryRY AI cellphone app.

During his presentation and showcase at the Learning Planet Festival, which is currently holding conferences and workshops through Jan. 28, Ryan will detail his work on “The Future of Artificial Intelligence-Driven Environmental Solutions” and advise fellow youth environmental activists on what they can do to improve their conservation efforts.

Said Newport Harbor Principal Sean Boulton in a press release, “Presenting at a UNESCO youth conference is a prestigious opportunity, and I couldn’t be more excited for Ryan.”

Here are the other stories we’ve been following this week:

  • Schools and districts throughout Orange County rang in the Lunar New Year — which kicked off Jan. 22 — by organizing student performances, hosting games and joining in citywide events.
(Huntington Beach Union High School District)
  • Orange County Arts and Disability, formerly known as VSA Orange County, announced its new name and logo ahead of the program’s 47th annual arts festival in April.
  • Newport Harbor High School senior Joyce De Quiros placed first in the 2022 Congressional App Challenge hosted by the U.S. House of Representatives. Joyce designed an app that informs students about global events and aims to inspire them to make an impact on their communities.
  • In light of the recent tragedy in Monterey Park, the Alhambra, Montebello and Los Angeles unified school districts announced their plans for increasing mental health services and updating security measures to better support students.
  • Starting in February, Los Alamitos Unified School District students will be required to attend an hour-long safety course led by the city’s police force and obtain a permit sticker in order to ride and park their e-bikes on campus. 
  • “Teachers Night Out” will return on Feb. 9 to the Orange County Discovery Cube, which will welcome all educators to enjoy STEM activities and science demonstrations.
  • After finishing first in his weight class at the Five Counties Invitational wrestling tournament, Fountain Valley High School junior Ryland Whitworth was named Orange County Boys Athlete of the Week by the Orange County Register.
  • The Pageant of the Arts program at J.H. McGaugh Elementary School in Seal Beach will soon commemorate 40 years of using interactive lessons to teach students about fine art and renowned artists. 
  • Stonegate Elementary students in Irvine had the opportunity to interact with and learn about sea animals during a visit Thursday from the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Aquarium on Wheels program.

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