Youth of the Month March 2016: Arjun Dhawan
By Jeremy Brown
Already recognized as one of the nation’s top, young innovative minds through a number of impressive presentations at science and robotics competitions, 16-year-old Arjun Dhawan has another invention up his sleeve that could impact millions.
Dhawan, a Newburgh resident and junior at Signature School, is not only Youth Resources’ March Youth of the Month because of the way he tirelessly serves his community, but also because of his efforts to solve monumental issues in the world.
He always had a knack for building things, but Dhawan’s interest in robotics and technology was combined with a service-mindset after visiting a school for the blind in India, which was started by his great-great grandmother.
Since his first visit to the blind school, Dhawan has developed a walking cane with an auditory sensor that increases in frequency as objects get closer, along with a recognition device for the visually impaired called “The Third Eye”, which uses a 3-D sensor to identify objects in the room via auditory command. His inventions have led to accolades such as grand-prize winner at the 2013 Iron Man Inventor and Innovator Fair, and champion at the 2015 Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS).
Dhawan has a patent pending for “The Third Eye” and he’s presenting his newest invention, a distracted driving sensor capable of recognizing manual, visual and cognitive aspects of driving, at the 2016 JSHS at the end of the month.
His desire to build and help others has also been fueled by robotics clubs at Signature and Castle North Middle School. He helped start Castle North’s program as a seventh grader and will serve his third-year as Signature’s club president next year. Dhawan opens up his house for both clubs to build – he mentors the Castle club he started along with his eighth-grade teacher Sara Killebrew, and spearheads his fellow group of students at Signature.
“I really think robotics is a skill that can be developed and applied into many areas of life,” said Dhawan. “It’s very important in conceptual thinking and tying things together. I enjoy seeing others learn, and passing on my passion and knowledge to other students. It’s my way of giving back – helping others flourish in their abilities.”
Dhawan also helps over 100 high school students in the community find ways to complete 15 hours of service as a member of the service committee on YR’s Teen Advisory Council. He said his involvement in TAC has opened his eyes to other avenues of service beyond his inventions.
“Even though Arjun has an extremely busy schedule, he loves his community and wants to be an active part in helping give back to it,” said Killebrew.
Jeremy Brown is the TEENPOWER, Special Events & Communications Coordinator at Youth Resources.