CADDO PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – One of the top student scientists in the country is right here in Shreveport.
Maya Trutschl is a freshman at Caddo Magnet High School. She won the nation’s top STEM competition for middle school students and was named a top 300 Broadcom Masters for a project she created in the 8th grade. Trutschl is genuinely a top young engineering scientist who is our Standout Student.
“The title was an HVCA System for a Greener Planet,” Trutschl said.
She built a prototype that could sense when your air conditioning system is not working, even when it thinks it’s working correctly.
“I used an old computer fan and used it as a base to detect when the system would be blowing air, and then I added a switch to one of the fans on one of the rotor blades on the fan. Whenever the switch would start spinning, it would tell the microcontroller, which is like this tiny little computer, that the system is blowing air,” Trutschl said.
“Then it would take measurements of the temperature and humidity using a temperature sensor. Then if those values did not get cooler in, say, three minutes worth of time and readings, then it would signal to the web server that the system is not working correctly, which would send a text message or email to your phone.”
She was inspired by the sweltering weather and poorly functioning air conditioning systems when they’re needed most. Trutschl says the subtropical climate is a problem for those without air conditioning.
Maya has a 4.0 GPA. She’s a competitive swimmer and participates in the honor society, quiz bowl, and engineering club. She has her sights set on studying Aeronautical or Mechanical Engineering at Indiana University or Florida University.
“I’m interested in aeronautics and space. So I’d like to be able to do something with NASA or SpaceX. That would allow me to have a fun job to do, to come to work every day and be excited about what I get to do.”
She says she thinks science is cool because “it explains how and why we are sitting here in our chairs living in this world today, and everything starting with the Big Bang Theory. I’m just really interested in learning more about how the world goes on.”
Trutschl is from Shreveport, but her parents moved here from Slovenia, where they visit family.
Maya says two teachers were key figures who helped her along the way.
“Mrs. Bass. She was my 7th-grade science teacher. She helped kickstart my whole love of science and engineering projects. Then I really appreciate my principal, Mrs. DeBusk, because she allowed me to have a feel for everything that I’m doing and congratulate me with every single award that I won,” Trutschl said.