Annual Challenge

Challenge Participants

The 2017 Young Scientist Challenge Finalists and State Merit Winners have been announced! Use the tabs below to check out their big ideas and explore all finalists, winners, mentors and judges!
The Ocean Energy Probe
Hannah Herbst
2015 Winner
Meet Hannah. Hannah's Ocean Energy Probe aims to provide a stable power source and fresh water to developing countries around the globe by using untapped energy from ocean currents. The energy is stored in a generator, and then can be harnessed for many uses, including the desalinization of water.
The Helping Hand
Peter Finch
2015 Finalist
Meet Peter. Peter believes his invention, The Helping Hand, will prevent many accidents caused by senior citizens falling on the stairs. Meant to maximize the use of arm strength, The Helping Hand reduces the impact on joints like the hands and knees. Although there are electric chairs on the market to help navigate the stairs, Peter believes his invention provides a portable, efficient and less expensive alternative for senior citizens.
Reducing CO2 emissions from cargo ships
Arthur Frigo, III
2015 Finalist
Meet Arthur. In one of many endeavors to learn more about science, Arthur hopes the Young Scientist Challenge will help feed his never-ending curiosity of science. With an interest in preventing some of the global issues faced today, Arthur's invention aims to reduce the CO2 emissions that cargo ships release daily. Arthur hopes to improve the environmental and human health problems by reducing cargo ship emissions, using wind power and a helium-filled parachute to propel cargo ships to their final destinations.
A Wireless, Wearable and Customizable Electronic Solution to Predict and Prevent Autistic Meltdowns.
Raghav Ganesh
2015 Finalist
Meet Raghav. To help those with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and their caregivers, Raghav's invention predicts and prevents Autistic Meltdowns. Monitoring physiological and environmental factors that can cause and trigger stress, Raghav's wireless and wearable machine alerts the wearer and caregiver when any stressors rise above a certain threshold.

His invention allows care to be tailored to individuals' needs by recording all sensory data and therapeutic responses. Raghav hopes his invention can help many people in daily situations, catering to the Autistic population and their caregivers.
Using Brainwave Patterns to Create Biofeedback Tools
Amulya Garimella
2015 Finalist
Meet Amulya. With a love for both filmmaking and science, the Young Scientist Challenge was the perfect opportunity for Amulya to showcase her talents. With a goal of preventing distractions while trying to concentrate, Amulya invented a distraction monitoring system that alerts the user of distraction by measuring EEG brainwaves. When users get distracted, they will receive an alert reminding them to concentrate and get back to work. Amulya hopes that being distracted while doing homework or working will be a thing of the past!
Mitigating Allergies with Nanoparticles
Iris Gupta
2015 Finalist
Meet Iris. Iris wants to stop allergies at the source. She believes that by inhaling or injecting nanoparticles, allergens' ability to attach to antibodies present in our bodies would be blocked as they entered our systems. Iris believes too many people suffer from allergies, and by testing to find the correct amount of nanoparticles optimal for blocking allergens, her invention aims to give them some much needed relief. Iris' favorite invention in the last 100 years is the Internet, because it makes research and access to information quick and easy.
Circular Ion Accelerator
Alec Lessing
2015 Finalist
Meet Alec. Alec's invention of a circular ion accelerator aims to make entry into space easier by giving multiple energy charges to passing particles before they are ejected from a rocket into space. Current linear ion accelerators only pass charging capacitor plates once before the are released from the rocket and lost into space, but by creating a circular accelerator, Alec hopes this is no longer the case. Alec hopes to win the Young Scientist Challenge to further his circular accelerator prototype. With the world's population growing at an extreme rate, Alec believes entry into space is more important than ever.
Car Temperature Sensor
Conner Pettit
2015 Finalist
Meet Conner. With soaring summer heat temperatures, Conner invented a device that measures temperature within a car and sends the information to a mobile device. Car temperatures can become much hotter than outside temperatures due to the car's ability to trap heat, and Conner's invention allows the user to know when the car is reaching dangerously hot temperatures. Conner's favorite invention in the last 100 years is the phonograph, which lead the way for the developments of recording and reproducing sound technology.
DUI Detection Using the Pupillary Reflex
Krishna Reddy
2015 Finalist
Meet Krishna. Struck with a great idea, Krishna decided the Young Scientist Challenge was a great way to demonstrate his invention to a large audience. While a breathalyzer for alcohol consumption exists, Krishna felt that there was need for a device that could detect more. Unhappy with the inability for breathalyzer to detect other substances, Krishna created a pupillary reflex computer program and apparatus that measures pupil dilation. Many drugs influence the uncontrollable movement of pupil dilation, and by detecting drugs through dilation, Krishna hopes many more preventable accidents can be stopped.
Reducing Flash Floods Using Optimal Drainage Pipe Sizes, Location and Elevation
Sanjana Shah
2015 Finalist
Meet Sanjana. After realizing the impacts of heaving rainfalls in unprepared areas, Sanjana created a program to detect where cities may need more drains and where they may need to increase current drain pipe sizes. By using pipe network analysis modeled after city drain pipe maps, Sanjana can simulate heavy rainfall to see where possible flooding may occur. Sanjana's favorite invention in the last 100 years is the Internet because it is a tool that allows for the searching, sharing and exchanging of information almost instantly. It can be used to connect globally, ranging from social media networks to aiding medical research across the world.
Salt Water Sandless Sandbag
Peyton Robertson
2013 Winner
Meet Peyton. America’s Top Young Scientist today, world renowned inventor tomorrow. Peyton’s invention of a more efficient sandbag to reduce salt water flood damage captured our judges’ attention. But it was his commanding delivery, innovative thinking, and sound grasp of the scientific method which captured him the title.

As America’s Top Young Scientist, it’s no wonder Peyton’s favorite subjects are science and math. He enjoys researching a problem or challenge and thinking through alternatives and creative solutions.
A Passion for Fashion and an Eye for Good Exercise
Reeny Botros
2013 Finalist
Meet Reeny. She has a passion for fashion as well as helping people. Couple that with her love of the challenge math and science bring and you get the makings of a fashion forward future doctor. Her Young Scientist Challenge entry illustrates how science can improve lives in many different ways – all while being a lot of fun in the process.
New Electrolyte Compound
Anish Chaluvadi
2013 Finalist
Meet Anish. He enjoys playing music to relax, but he also enjoys the thrill of overcoming a good challenge. That’s why he loves science and math. Science is one of the subjects he most enjoys because it’s hands-on and you get to experience it.
He aspires to be a biomedical engineer so he can make a career of overcoming tough challenges.
Improved Indoor Biomass Cook Stove
Daniel Culver
2013 Finalist
Meet Daniel. He believes that science improves the condition of the world. His innovative indoor biomass cook stove shows exactly how Daniel’s science acumen and inventive spirit could truly improve conditions for many people around the world for years to come.

In addition to improving the world through science, Daniel dreams of becoming an aerospace engineer or aviator so he can fly.
Pegasus - Hybrid Vehicle Charging System
Tim DeMember
2013 Finalist
Meet Tim. An aspiring mechanical engineer, it’s no wonder he enjoys building, creating and just plain figuring out how things work. The inspiration for his Young Scientist Challenge invention came from watching an index card attached to a bicycle frame – proving that science really is everywhere! Be open and stay curious…your next innovative idea could be right in front of you.
Publicly Available Databases Containing Biological Information
Katie Hudek
2013 Finalist
Meet Katie. When she’s not enjoying her many hobbies or excelling in her favorite subjects of science, math, and english, she is dreaming about being a surgeon so she can help people.

One look at her Young Scientist Challenge entry on Computational Biology and you’ll see why Katie will make a fine surgeon someday.
Camera Centering Tripod Mount
Srijay Kasturi
2013 Finalist
Meet Srijay. He understands the power of a good story and the fun of building things grounded in science. An aspiring filmmaker or computer science expert, Srijay’s interests blended perfectly with the 2013 Young Scientist Challenge. The skills he’s developed pursuing his hobbies served him well in creating his finalist winning video entry.
Green Energy Electricity from Grass Waste
Edward Kim
2013 Finalist
Meet Edward. He dreams of one day becoming a neurosurgeon, to fulfill his duty to contribute to society by finding cures for problems to end people’s suffering. Neurology is still somewhat of a mystery and one Edward would love to help solve.

You can thank his 8th grade teacher for encouraging him to enter the Young Scientist Challenge to share his idea to make electricity from grass waste through a fuel cell system. Economical and eco-friendly, his fuel cell system may just become a viable alternative energy source one day.
iCUpooch - an interactive care unit for dogs
Brooke Martin
2013 Finalist
Meet Brooke. With a Utility Patent Application pending for her invention iCUpooch, an interactive care unit for dogs and the subject of her video submission entry for the Young Scientist Challenge, it’s no wonder she is one of the 2013 finalists.

Brooke is determined to pursue a career in science. She would like to do something where she can help to improve the lives of others, whether it's by finding cures for diseases, innovating new technology, or helping to solve crimes.
Steer Smart
Aishani Sil
2013 Finalist
Meet Aishani. She wants to be a scientist to contribute to future scientific discoveries that benefit mankind. And with her Young Scientist Challenge entry, she is already off to an impressive start.
She entered the Young Scientist Challenge to share her idea for Steer Smart, an application designed to reduce texting and driving, and hopes the application will motivate drivers to put away their phones, focus on the road ahead, and save thousands of lives in the process.