Winner

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"I think it's incredibly important that children have a voice and know they are capable of helping the environment in their own ways. Being named the winner would mean that the scientific community and the public at large believe that my project has the potential to have an immensely positive impact on the planet we all share, which would be even more of an honor" 

- Reshma Kosaraju
Reshma Kosaraju
15, USA

Reshma Kosaraju is from Saratoga, California, USA. In her project, AI against forest fires, Reshma uses AI technology to predict which areas can be affected by forest fires. According to several reports, there has been a major increase in forest fires globally, a trend that is only getting worse. The jury sees a young entrepreneur with solid research who is attempting to tackle a highly relevant subject such as forest fires, and find modern solutions.
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Fires are a natural part of a forest’s ecosystem, but the underlying conditions have changed. Increasing global warming means drier and warmer conditions, thus making trees and other plants more flammable.

Many forests around the world are now finding it difficult to adapt to this increase in temperature. In addition, longer fire seasons and periods of extreme fire hazard are becoming more common.
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In the western part of the country, the fire season has increased by more than 80 days in just 30 years. Current methods used for detecting fires are more often than not reactive, expensive and unreliable.

Reshma wanted to do something about this and created an AI model using neural networks that can predict forest fires. With meteorological data such as temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and soil moisture, AI can calculate where a forest fire is most likely to occur. The calculations become very precise with use of time data such as weekday and month, as well as accounting for human behavior. 
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The jury’s motivation: 

Climate change and forest fires mutually reinforce each other and wildfires, today, are in many locations larger, more intense and longer lasting.
Forest fires have increasingly become a global and topical issue.
Reshma represents the best of youth entrepreneurship: brave, innovative and solution-oriented. Her model uses AI and technology in an innovative and savvy way in order to accurately predict the risk of forest fires while also accounting for the independent variables of climate, weather and human behavior. A clear and scalable business concept, with a global approach to accessibility. This is an example of an extraordinary and creative solution based on a systemized approach!