WiSTEM officers discuss their plans for Bay Area Research Exposition this year

WiSTEM’s participation in BARE, an exposition in which students create a project in response to a scientific prompt

Zara Iqbal


WiSTEM president Rujuta Sathe tells a club member about BARE during their club meeting. Photo by Ruth Feng.

On Nov. 14, Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (WiSTEM) held an informational meeting about the Bay Area Research Exposition (BARE), which previously took place at Google Headquarters in April. MVHS, Saratoga HS and Lynbrook HS hold and participate in the exposition every year; a prompt is issued and the students respond to it by creating a science project which they present at the event.


The officers from the WiSTEM clubs have held meetings since July of this year to allocate different event tasks. According to senior and vice president Reha Srikanthan, the officers at MVHS are in charge of the funds and plan to fundraise through selling boba and participating at Club Food Day to pay for expenses.  


“It’s not a thing we just attend, it’s a thing we organize. It’s our science fair based on just the  Women in STEM clubs,” Srikanthan said. “We’re totally open to people who aren’t in our club participating, but obviously, if you are in our club, it’s much easier for us to help you.”


This year, the officers are also opening up the project to middle schoolers. Senior and president Rujuta Sathe also mentions that because Synopsys, the South Valley Science & Engineering Fair, has a limit to the number of accepted projects, she hopes that more students will attend BARE.


“Synopsis [Science and Technology Championship] has a cap this year – a lot of students aren’t able to [participate],” Sathe said. “I think 45 projects were submitted for Synopsis, but only 30 are getting it so 15 are going to be rejected and they need an alternative.”


Srikanthan expresses support, saying that she and the other officers are willing to help club members if they’re struggling to develop ideas. She says that reading scientific magazines are a good place to find inspiration.


“We’ll definitely be able to help you with brainstorming if you know if you want to do bio, specifically, or a chemistry concept,” Srikanthan said. “It helps us to narrow it down.”


The officers believe that participating in BARE is beneficial because members can win prizes and listen to guest speakers from places like Stanford and NASA, as well as network with them. According to senior Samhita Sathe, lab coordinator of WiSTEM, the officers themselves are participating in the event as well, and are making it obligatory for hopeful officers to participate in order for them to gain experience.


“I think we’re making it a requirement, if you want to become an officer [next year] you will have to be participating in BARE,” Sathe said. “[We’ll] encourage it.”