The new platform, named SciLynk, is a few months away from its launch and is the passion project of Arnav Chakravarthy of Sunnyvale, 15, and Arvind Kumar of Cupertino, 16.
For the most part, Silicon Valley is synonymous with tech, innovation and garage start-ups renowned for their gold.
However, what options do you have if your age limits access to certain networks? This was the case for two high school students sharing a common interest in science.
âThe fact that we can’t even access these sites and aren’t allowed to create accounts on them is a big downside,â Chakravarthy said. âSo we created this platform for every science enthusiast and professional to interact, collaborate and connect with each other.â
The two met through a mutual friend on social media last summer. They bonded over their interest in STEM and both acknowledged the lack of online space for an all-in-one science center.
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So they decided to create a social network to do just that.
The pandemic has allowed teens to design the platform from a distance.
Kumar shared, “After eight months of working fully online, we met in person just a few weeks ago.”
In nearly a year, the two have adapted the site to feature forums, posts, mentorship opportunities, and focus on 30 unique scientific groups, from immunology to astrophysics.
âWhether you like music, there is acoustics. If you like the look and how we look, there is genetics,â Chakravarthy explained. “If you like sports and want to see how the ball moves and stuff like that, there is physics.”
Both are encouraged to create a space for others with common interests looking for opportunities.
âIt’s more than just a side project,â Kumar said. “It’s something that we really, really want to happen. It’s something that we invest in. It’s something that we’re passionate about.”
âWe decided to set up and create a platform where students and faculty can chat and connect,â said Chakravarthy. “It was just a small messaging platform, which then evolved into this huge scientific social network that we would like every science enthusiast and enthusiast to have access to.”
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âOur long-term goal is basically to create a site where anyone interested in science can come and create an account,â Kumar added. “Or people who are already professionals in the industry, or people who are already experienced, who want to share their article and like to answer questions, or host a webinar on their article can come and interact with the scientific community. “
They use their free time to further develop SciLynk.
âIt’s kind of like breaking away from homework,â Kumar told ABC7 News. âSchoolwork is like, ‘Oh, no! I have school ‘, but then we work on SciLynk and it’s like,’ Oh, yeah! Something we really love to do. ‘”
âSocial networks these days are very restricted to just researchers and they have a very professional approach to research,â Chakravarthy added. âI think this is not the best approach, because we are also students, and we are also science enthusiasts. And since we also want to start our science journeys, I think the best age to start is young. “
Kumar thanks his parents for his growing interest in STEM.
âBoth of my parents are engineers,â he said. âI took this passion from my parents and then I just spent my own time, learning to code online, looking at business models, pitch decks and just developing my own passion.
Chakravarthy said he was interested in reading.
âI started picking up a lot more non-fiction books on the theory of relativity, genetics explained ‘For Dummies’ and stuff like that,â he says.
âAlmost anything can be explained by science,â he said, he learned quickly from reading. “And it’s just a wonderfully fascinating subject.”
These Silicon Valley teens prove that there is no age limit when it comes to innovation.
The teens plan to use a Kickstarter campaign to help fundraising. However, the campaign site is not yet live.
To visit SciLynk ahead of the official summer 2021 launch, visit This site.
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