by LIZ ONUFER | photos by JESSICA BREAUX

Leader and Innovator

student_pabari2If you learned about a couple of Raj Pabari’s activities, you might not be too surprised by the Coastal Academy eighth grader. But when you see this 13-year-old’s complete resume, you’ll realize that Raj is successful in endeavors from coding and robotics to acting and running.

Raj’s interest in STEM-related activities began in third grade when he joined his school’s programming club. Since that time, he has competed in science fairs, mathematic competitions, and robotics.

This strong background in STEM led him to his most recent recognition at the national middle school science and engineering fair: Top 300 of the Broadcom MASTERS. The application process alone inspired Raj. “The questions that they asked me made me really think about science and leadership in a way that I never had,” he said. “It was a great opportunity to really think about the kind of leader and innovator that I want to be.”


Name: Raj Pabari
School: Coastal Academy Charter School
Parents: Vipul and Sejal Pabari
Favorite Places in Carlsbad: Pelly’s Fish Market and Deli, Lola’s 7 Up Market and Deli


That kind of leader and innovator was reflected in the project Raj completed for the competition. His project, AquaGuard, was motivated by a neighbor’s water leak and the expense and disruption it caused her. Researching water sensors, Raj realized the flashing light or beeping alarm is only effective if someone is home. Raj created a smarter water sensor, one that sends an email when a leak is detected to prevent extensive damage from an undetected alarm. “Solving and tackling problems that can be applied in real life is what really got me engaged in technology and engineering,” Raj explained.

student_pabari3

The STEM accomplishments alone would be enough for most middle schoolers. Yet Raj also finds pleasure in more physical and artistic endeavors. He loves running for his cross country team. He is also an actor for film, TV, commercials, and theater productions. He sees a strong correlation between the stage and STEM. “Through acting, I’ve learned a lot about body language, how to project my voice, and other voice techniques,” he said. “Because of this, I am comfortable talking to judges and making presentations in front of large crowds.”

Raj’s resume will only continue to grow through high school and college where he plans to continue his work in STEM and find a career where he can be an innovator and solver of real world problems. “With all the advances in technology, I believe that the future is wide open for innovation,” Raj acknowledged.