9/22/19

the Conrad Challenge Changed My Life with Akhil Jariwala Transformative Principal 297

Akhil is the business development manager at ChargePoint, a fast-growing start-up in the San Francisco Bay Area that provides electric vehicle charging solutions to businesses. Prior to ChargePoint, he spent 5 years in the clean tech and consumer mobile app spaces. Akhil is an alumnus from the 2010 Conrad Challenge, where his finalist team from the North Carolina School of Science and Math designed a latticed pod system that generated electricity from wave energy using internally-housed piezoelectric ceramics.

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* North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics * Didn’t know what I wanted to do. * Always wanted to be a doctor and ended up doing a ton of work in environmental areas. * Starting out with very little information. * Students start from two different places. * 1. Technology they are really excited about. * 2. We have a group of students really passionate about a specific problem and start to ideate about how to solve that problem. * We knew we wanted to build a wave energy device. * Knew nothing about piezoelectric ceramics. * Spent hours learning about the physics behind the technology. * Chemistry professor - her job was keeping us accountable. * What has changed since you did Conrad Challenge? * Shifted from focus on medicine to product management. * Conrad in college admissions process. * Spoke about the spirit of creativity. * most capable people I’ve ever known. Still in touch with many of them today. * I discovered my purpose. It challenged me to be a change-maker! * Group of students created a device to put out fires by sound waves in forests. * We champion no-box thinking. * How to be a transformative principal? Embrace divergent thinking.



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