The Diesch sisters are the perfect advocates for raising awareness of the importance of STEM education. These two ambitious young thinkers caught the attention of NASA and the President of the United States, so we figured we’d give them a shout-out on Technapex.
The two Battle Creek Michigan teens were keynote speakers at the Lego Education Innovation in Learning Summit hosted in Kansas City. The girls developed a food bar after identifying that the Docosahexaenoic acid chain (DHA) of Omega-3 fatty acid was an essential ingredient for brain nutrition.
“There are many products for athletes or people who want to go on a diet, but not really for those people who want to stay up late and study for their linear algebra exam,” Mikayla Diesch said.
Unfortunately, DHA in its pure form has a terrible smell, and no one wants to eat a nutrition bar that tastes or smells awful. The girls were able to overcome this obstacle and produce a nutrition bar called the STEM Bar, so named in honor of bringing awareness to STEM education. The girls are also in the process of patenting their method of encapsulating DHA into a viable ingredient for a food item that doesn’t taste horrible. Somehow, they were able to suppress DHA’s nasty properties and include it in a bar that tastes like apple cinnamon.
Somewhere in between their preparations for landing a robot the size of a Mini Cooper on the surface of Mars, NASA took notice of the Diesch sisters and decided to send their food bar into space for the astronauts aboard the International Space Station to enjoy. Shortly after, the White House invited the sisters to the first annual science fair and introduced them to President Obama.
“He told us the United States was ranked 25th in math and 21st in science worldwide. He said that we are falling further and further behind and urgent action was needed to reverse this trend,” said Shannon Diesch. After their Washington D.C. visit, the two sisters took up the cause of STEM education and traveled around the country delivering speeches.
“As big supporters of STEM education, Shannon and I decided to do our part to solve the problem. We made it a priority to speak with as many fellow students, business leaders, educators and politicians as we could about the importance of STEM education,” said Mikayla.
It is no surprise that these two sisters are motivated to do well in higher education and beyond. Mikayla will attend Cornell University in the fall where she will study biological engineering and business, two fields in which one would need to excel to produce and market innovative food products. And Shannon recently graduated high school—impressive for a 16-year-old—and will attend Phillips Exeter Academy in the fall.