We had the good fortune of connecting with Ava Steger and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ava, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
One of the most important things about my project/app was the starting point. There were so many different ways that I could go, but slowing down at the beginning to see which ideas would really work and which ones were just going to be big wastes of time was so helpful. It took a lot of time to differentiate the two, and there were multiple times when I had to stop because there wasn’t enough research to back up my ideas. If you are passionate about something though, you usually will want to keep going. Although, make sure to plan beforehand to know that there is enough time in your schedule and enough potential in the idea to actually go for it.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I created an app this past year for the 2021 International Science Fair! It was most definitely not easy, as many labs were shut down, and I couldn’t come in contact with any patients/ICU workers I wanted to talk with. My app aimed to decrease ICU (Intensive Care Unit) delirium by increasing familial contact and participation in care with the patient. I made sure to reach out to many different healthcare providers, and start early to meet the deadline of this project. I think it is really important to talk about delirium because it is something that goes somewhat unnoticed, or diagnosed as “a side effect of the ICU” that will go away. In reality, delirium affects over 80% of those in the ICU, causing hallucinations, severe confusion and anxiety, and even PTSD and depression after being released from the hospital.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m sure this has already been said many times, but Horsetooth Reservoir would be the first place I would go. I’ve lived in Fort Collins for over 11 years now, and there are still different hang out spots and outlooks at the lake that I haven’t explored. It is absolutely gorgeous and you can camp, swim, hike (or run), and spend the entire day there. If it was raining though, I would probably show them around the Harmony Library. They have a glass ceiling in the middle of the library, and many comfortable chairs that are great for reading on a rainy day.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so, so many people I would love to give credit to! Creating my app definitely took support from lots of people around me. Overall, I would have to shoutout my mother, LeAnn Sipple. She was always there to keep me motivated through the year with planning and sticking with my timeline. I also could bounce my ideas off of her or just brainstorm about what I wanted my project to look like.

Image Credits

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