Fassnacht wins computer award

From left, WHS computer science teacher Karen Podell, Samantha Fassnacht and Maureen Biggers, NCWIT leadership team and committee chair for Indiana Aspirations in Computing. (Submitted photo)

From left, WHS computer science teacher Karen Podell, Samantha Fassnacht and Maureen Biggers, NCWIT leadership team and committee chair for Indiana Aspirations in Computing. (Submitted photo)

By Anna Skinner

Westfield High School junior Sami Fassnacht was recently honored as an Indiana winner for the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing award, a national achievement. Fassnacht received the award with 23 other high school women from across the state.

“The award as for women in computing and technology,” Fassnacht said. “I had to discuss my experiences with technology, and I talked about my experience in AP Computer Science and my robotics team at the school.”

Fassnacht found out about the award through a computer science camp she took at Purdue University. She completed an online application and was then selected as a winner.

Along with a plaque for her award, Fassnacht also received $250 dollars, WHS received a plaque, and she received small scholarships to colleges around the state. Despite those scholarships, Fassnacht said she hopes to get into Stanford for computer science.

“I’ve always really liked science and technology, so once I got to high school, I tried some introduction to computer science classes and my interest grew,” she said.

The 16-year-old is involved in the school’s robotics club and attends summer camps about computer and technology.

“I love the challenge and the puzzle behind computer science. It’s so interesting to get a real-world problem and think of a practical and efficient solution,” Fassnacht said. “I think I would like to do something with robotics in the future.”

This is Fassnacht’s second year in the robotics club. She designed a robot and wrote a program for it and said she hopes to go to state.

“Sami has always had so many interests since she was little,” said Sami’s mom, Maggie. “We are so proud of Sami’s dedication to her classes and her aspirations in computer science.”