On the heels of winning a full $3,000 Global Youth Action Fund grant from the International Baccalaureate and starting his own nonprofit organization, Newport Harbor High School (NHHS) Sophomore Ryan Honary gave a presentation on engaging youth in AI/STEM-based environmental projects at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York during its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Weekend.
Ryan earned the $3,000 grant for his work in creating an open AI-based digital platform for the early detection and growth prediction of wildfires. Ryan was one of only 10 winners from the United States; 101 grants were awarded worldwide to students whose projects support one or more of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
In January, Ryan debuted his nonprofit organization, Climate Solutions Society (CSS) at the Learning Planet Festival, an event created by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Learning Planet Institute in Paris. He also hosted a panel discussion and global showcase on “The Future of Artificial Intelligence-Driven Environmental Solutions,” where he shared his award-winning open AI-based digital platform for early detection and growth prediction of wildfires that has since evolved for use in addressing a variety of additional environmental issues.
“Ryan is brave and open to being teachable. It’s a joy to work with him on his presentations and videos and be able to guide him on his passion and commitment to protecting and preserving the environment,” said IB Diploma Coordinator Alma Di Giorgio.
As part of the UN’s SDG Action Weekend, Ryan presented his contribution to capturing youth perspectives and strengthening the meaningful engagement of future generations to further sustainable development. Through CSS, Ryan wants to turn the platform he created to detect wildfires into an open platform that can be used by others to develop solutions for additional environmental issues.
Ryan’s early wildfire detection platform is a network of solar-powered heat detectors that communicate wirelessly with a weather station that transmits data to a computer that then reports an analysis of the situation to a cellphone app. It is currently being employed by the Irvine Ranch Conservancy (IRC) in a variety of environmental management and protection applications. IRC has partnered with the company Ryan started, SensoRy AI, to advance the practical applications of his invention.
At NHHS, Ryan is working with Di Giorgio to start an on-campus club based on the goals of CSS, where interested students with a passion for STEM and the environment would come together to share solutions to and take steps to combat climate change.
Ryan intends to use the funds to create multiple hardware versions of his invention that can be shared with other youth at no cost. To build his network, he has been working with the Delhi Center in Santa Ana and other high schools in an effort to engage youth throughout the county. Through this engagement, he plans to host workshops at these places with instructors from throughout the technology sector. Another goal is to work with the Orange County Department of Education to develop curriculum for the workshops.
In addition to the $3,000 grant, Ryan will receive online training on social entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial mentorship from members of the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
“Ryan has been very dedicated and focused on things that really matter. We are so proud of him,” said his father, Hooman Honary.
When he is not speaking about science-based solutions to environmental challenges around the globe, Ryan enjoys playing competitive tennis and teaching the sport to kids with special needs.