MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — Northwest High School students Kavi Patel and Edward Xiao are using their passion for computer science to make people’s lives a little easier in Montgomery County.
After working together on a local hackathon coding competition project that they had just three days to finish, Kavi Patel and Edward Xiao put their hard work on the web and created a free COVID newsletter.
The emailed newsletter gets sent to inboxes once a week and summarizes all the data neighbors might need to know while navigating life in the pandemic; including the average Montgomery County COVID-19 cases, vaccine data, tips for booking an appointment and even school reopening metrics.
“We were browsing online and we found Maryland data available. And we saw that it was a little bit tricky to read,” Patel explained. “We knew that we wanted to sort of design an application that would create data that was easy for users to read; something that was deliverable in a clean format and on a consistent basis.”
Xiao said that useful metrics and tips are especially important right now, with cases on the rise.
“According to our data, the number of cases in Montgomery County and the number of deaths and just the general trend is still going upwards, which is very concerning considering that it's already been a year.”
The high schoolers hope the newsletter will help out neighbors who are trying to navigate so much data every day in an attempt to make informed, safe decisions in the pandemic.
“We thought that if we could just send them a reminder, hey, this pandemic is still real, and it's still really scary, that might make a difference,” Xiao said.
The talented students also gave a shout-out to their supportive families and the Northwest High School teachers who helped them get their project off the ground; “Mr. Sell, Ms. Mcclelland, Ms. Asofsky, Mr. Parks and Mrs. Wilson.”
Teachers that the pair calls “awesome.”