Session 3

Hear from local high school students who have designed two products for individuals with visual impairment. The students and their community partners will present about their work designing Stria, a smart belt to help blind individuals avoid dangerous veering, and Glow Vis, a blind cane 2.0 with shock absorption and tactile feedback lights. The panelists will include the designers, and the individuals who were their inspiration for the award-winning products. 


You will learn how they approached the project, fine-tuned the product development process, and won $15,000 in prize money in international competitions from the AT&T Inventor's Challenge to the SXSWedu Student Startup Pitch Competition.  Hear the inspirational stories from the future designers of products for individuals with disabilities.

Project Invent – Designers of the Future


Connie Liu

Founder and Director

Project Invent

Connie Liu is a mechanical engineer from MIT, passionate educator, and founder of Project Invent. She most recently taught design thinking & engineering at The Nueva School.


Today, she runs Project Invent to inspire high school students nationwide to invent technologies that make a difference. She is also an inventor herself, creating assistive technologies to empower those with disabilities.

Max Shen

Student Designer

Max Shen is a senior at the Nueva High School. He is an avid maker, and loves designing. He hopes to pursue a career in product design or experience design in the future. Max has experience in the design engineering process and has helped teach graduate classes at Stanford University School of Design.


Max is highly motivated and passionate about design, and is especially excited by design engineering for social good. His hobbies include wood and machine working, along with with painting, cartooning, rock climbing, scuba diving, and playing guitar and banjo. 


Deshaun Jordan

Student Designer

DJ is a 16-year-old entrepreneur with his own podcast, YouTube channel, and soon to be own brand! Since freshman year of high-school, he has been engaging in Social/Environmental Activism at YUCA where he’s done everything from speaking at City Hall to leading protests. DJ is a fun person to be around and loves entrepreneurship/owning his own life. 

Maddie Park

Student Designer

Maddie is a senior at the Nueva school and a data science intern at the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub. She is interested in the intersection of science and machine learning with the goal of making an impact!


Maddie was on team Stria for over a year and now leads a club with eight teams who are designing for users with many different backgrounds. Her hope is to empower others with design and technology in hopes of creating a more equal world. In her free time, she runs cross country and enjoys spending time with her family.

Wesley Shapiro

Student Designer

Wesley is a senior at the Nueva school. He joined Stria almost two years ago hoping to gain experience in design engineering for social good and functioning as a key part of a team dynamic. He especially loves user outreach and talking to individuals about the product.


Beyond Stria, Wesley is taking flying lessons to work toward his private pilot's license and he loves traveling and learning foreign languages. 

Abigayil Tamara

Team Participant

Abby is an artist, former art educator (grades K-College), clinical
social worker, and computer graphic designer. She is visually
impaired, mobility impaired, and has a bipolar disorder. She is
passionate about making a difference, and advocating for
individual rights.

Abby was on the Board of Directors of the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center. Also, on the board for NAMI Santa Clara County representing consumers, and the Chair of  their  Consumer Advisory Council. She has volunteered for Vista Center, and was successful in three legal cases with hospitals over service dog access denial. Abby has spoken at the NAMI National Convention, ADA 2015 Conference and the California Council of the Blind’s Annual Convention.


Additionally, Abby has made service dog demonstrations at Abilities Expo San Mateo. She mentored students in art lessons, and participated with Project Invent and Perspectives in Assistive Technology, a Stanford Engineering course.  Abby is presently updating a therapeutic board game she made for inpatient psychiatric units. Abby’s successor service dog, Nathan is from Canine Partners for Life in Cochranville, PA.

Jimmy Uharriet

Team Participant

Jimmy Uharriet, a Teamster, was hired as a United Airlines mechanic at San Francisco Airport in 2010. In 2016, the unexpected became his reality – Jimmy was involved in an accident outside of work that left him totally blind.

Jimmy remained an integral part of his United Airlines family, and the skills Jimmy learned at Vista Center helped him return to being fully functional at his workplace again.