Santa Monica College math major creates website that connects health care pros with much-needed PPE
By Dev Jaiswal and Christina Campodonico
His passions span derivatives, coding and service.
Fifteen-year-old Santa Monica College math major Max Steinberg has used his interest in computer programming to join the fight against the coronavirus. Inspired by a story from a close relative, he has created a website, called Supply Chain, to help medical professionals secure more personal protective equipment.
“When I heard that my close relative was going to work in a scuba mask, I was really surprised because his hospital couldn’t get him the PPE that would help him be safe while doing his job,” Max told The Argonaut this spring. “And I thought that we have to do something about that, that can’t keep happening.”
Max estimates that he took somewhere between 100 and 200 hours to code the PPE website, making it his top priority even above his college finals. Medical professionals seeking PPE can create an account on Max’s website and submit their request. Donors can then look on the main page of the website and see a map of all the hospitals near their location who are requesting more equipment. Hospital addresses are automatically verified for legitimacy using a Google Maps API function.
“I want it to be able to help people and the faster it gets done, the more good it can do,” Max said. “Because, constantly the news is telling us that coronavirus is spreading exponentially. And the more we can do earlier, it’ll have an exponentially better impact.”
Dave Steinberg, Max’s father, said it has been difficult to track exactly how much the website is helping the community. They can see how requests from different hospitals change over time, but they don’t have a system that pinpoints the exact number. The hospital that Max’s relative works at, however, has received “quite a few” supplies, according to Dave.
“The downside is that we don’t know how many people have donated to all of the hospitals so far,” Dave said.
Max says he taught himself how to program. The interest started at a young age and flourished into a side business even before this project was conceived.
“I have a website where I do coding solutions,” Max said. “I just do programming for projects that people need me
His work has included helping a UCLA law professor transition to a new website and doing database management for a law firm. He markets himself with the slogan “You can expect the professional skills of an adult for the price of a teenager.”
Max is happy that he can help people with this project. He hopes to transfer to UCLA in 2021 and has considered pursuing graduate studies in computer science.
Visit covid.structbuilders.com to learn more.