(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced her commitment of $4,000 to the Benjamin Banneker High School team that is currently in the final stage of NASA’s Optimus Prime Spinoff Promotion and Research Challenge (OPSPARC). The grant will help the students continue to build on their innovative project in which they are designing a system to remove lead from drinking water in schools. Mikayla Sharrieff, India Skinner, and Bria Snell, the only all-black, female team to make it to the final stage, developed their idea for the competition while volunteering at the Inclusive Innovation Incubator, or In3, as part of their school’s commitment to community service.
“Through their brilliance and passion, Mikayla, India, and Bria are bringing our vision for In3 to life and making our city proud,” said Mayor Bowser. “Mikayla, India, and Bria are just the type of people and scientists our world needs more of and we are proud to support their dreams.”
Over the past year, while at In3, Bria, India, and Mikayla have been participating in and learning all aspects of the tech industry, including: coding, community problem-solving through design, social networking, entrepreneurship, and mobile App development. This premiere DC tech incubator is housed at Howard University and supported by Mayor Bowser’s tech inclusion initiative.