Maple Grove HS Student Honored for Opioid Addiction Research
Technology is a significant part of most students’ lives. But that’s especially true for Maple Grove High School student Stavya Arora, who joined the robotics team in middle school.
“That was my first exposure to seeing what technology can really do and how cool it can really be,” Arora said.
Now a senior at Maple Grove Senior High, Arora recognizes how robotics has helped to shape her education.
“Not just programming but also mechanical, electric, pneumatics and learning how different systems and all that hands-on work comes together to build a really cool robot,” she said.
Those who know Arora call her a driven young woman.
“She thinks big and dreams bigger and then jumps into to making hard work happen,” said Marcy Redmond, a social worker at Maple Grove High School.
Robotics simply provided a jumping off point.
“It sparked creativity that allowed me to pursue and have the confidence to pursue this research project,” Arora said.
Research with the help of Reddit
For the last two years, Arora immersed herself in a research project aiming to use the online forum ‘Reddit’ to help people recovering from opioid addiction.
She read through more than 16,000 posts.
“I built different language matching systems that identify Reddit users within a specific subgroup called ‘Opiates Recovery‘ and I figured out how to tell if those users are at risk for relapse.
Arora’s commitment put her in a very exclusive group. She was recognized by the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the oldest science and math competition for high school students in the U.S.
“Immediately started crying because it is a really big honor and I put a lot of my heart and soul into this project for the past few years,” Arora said. “They pick the top 300 scholars from the nation who’ve demonstrated great aptitude in their research, great understanding of the work they’re doing and that the work they’re doing has real impact.”
Arora continues to monitor Reddit and build on her research.
Opioid addiction can seem like an insurmountable problem, but Arora is confident her work in the virtual world will help people in the real world.
“They’re so honest and vulnerable on that platform that it hit home for sure and made me realize it has potential to help a lot of people and that kept me going,” she said.
Related: 2022 Maple Grove Senior High School Graduation