Annual Challenge

Challenge Participants

The 2018 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!
Enhancing Wind Power
Maanasa Mendu
2016 Winner
Meet Maanasa. Maanasa hopes her invention helps make wind power a globally applicable energy source. She created a device utilizing piezoelectricity materials that are both eco-friendly and cost efficient.
Anvitha Addanki
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Massachusetts
Anusha Allamsetty
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Virginia
Arya Bairat
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Connecticut
Hannah Bazemore
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
New Hampshire
Aquabot - An Arduino Based Robot for Testing and Monitoring Surface Water Quality
Meghna Behari
2016 Finalist
Meet Meghna. After learning how difficult it is to analyze the quality of hard to reach water sources, Meghna created a device to help access hard to reach waterways. Monitoring temperature, conductivity and pH levels, Meghna hopes to revolutionize the way scientists conduct research in the future.
William Briggs
2016 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Florida
Samantha Caron
2016 State Merit Winner
7th grade
North Carolina
Rushil Chander
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Texas
Rohan Datta
2016 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Georgia
Improving the Accuracy of Kicking a Soccer Ball Using Sensory Feedback
Amelia Day
2016 Finalist
Meet Amelia. To help the visual and hearing impaired along with the injured, Amelia's invention aims to improve accuracy of kicking a soccer ball using sensory feedback using a light and sound based system. Amelia hopes that her invention will help people's physical capabilities around the world both now and in the future.
Olivia Garner
2016 State Merit Winner
7th grade
South Carolina
William Grzelak
2016 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Ohio
Hunter Hong
2016 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Washington
Arjun Jain
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Oregon
Vijay Josephs
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
New Jersey
Sharvil Kaware
2016 State Merit Winner
5th grade
Nebraska
Low Cost CPR Simluator
Mrinali Kesavadas
2016 Finalist
Meet Mrinali. Mrinali's low cost CPR simulator aims to help save lives in underdeveloped countries. The simulator is made of low cost materials, is portable and also has the capability to run a computer based program to provide instant feedback to the user to assure that they are performing CPR in the correct way.
ALEXANDER KNOLL
2016 State Merit Winner
5th grade
Idaho
Kathryn Lampo
2016 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Colorado
Nano-Cellulose Beads to End Stormwater Pollution
Sara Makboul
2016 Finalist
Meet Sara. Sara invented Nano Cellulose Beads to counteract stormwater pollution in an effort to improve the quality of water. Sara plans to create her invention by using the absorbent cellulose, which will be extracted from leaf remains. Combined with sodium polyacrylate and once dispersed on land, excess stormwater runoff can be absorbed to decrease the amount of pollution and improve water quality.
Rhea Malhotra
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Pennsylvania
Gavin Miller
2016 State Merit Winner
Michigan
Optimized Diesel Particulate Filter Design
Rohit Mital
2016 Finalist
Meet Rohit. Wanting to eliminate untimely deaths due to air pollution, Rohit invented a device to control pollution from diesel automobiles by optimizing particulate filters. Through researching filter cell designs, Rohit found that his invention not only has the capability to save 250 million gallons of fuel per year, but also reducing particulate matter and saving lives all around the world.
Semiconductor Battery
Will Paschal
2016 Finalist
Meet Will. Will wants to create an alternative method of storing electricity that is safer and more efficient then what is currently being offered. Will invented a semiconductor battery, and believes that creating an electric current between existing materials can power any electrical device imagined.
Gitanjali Rao
2016 State Merit Winner
5th grade
Tennessee
Quinn Robinson
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Illinois
Emma Rollins
2016 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Delaware
Alexandra Rosenthal
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Alabama
Sujay Swain
2016 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Maryland
Make the Pill fit the Ill
Sofia Tomov
2016 Finalist
Meet Sofia. Sofia believes her invention can help limit negative side effects from prescription medications. By using fast computing methods to detect mutations that would cause a person to suffer from side effects of their medication, Sofia hopes she can help improve the health of humans all over the world through safer prescriptions.
Kaushik Tota
2016 State Merit Winner
7th grade
California
Mudricity - Making a More Efficient Microbial Fuel Cell for use in Developing Countries
Rohan Wagh
2016 Finalist
Meet Rohan. Wanting to eliminate energy poverty in underdeveloped countries, Rohan invented a new method to increase the efficiency of a microbial fuel cell. Rohan believes his invention, which is compact sized and low maintenance, can be distributed and used all around the world.
Olivia Wagner
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Kentucky
Clara Wayne
2016 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Wisconsin
Camille Will
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Minnesota
Bioplastics - Redefining Future
Kaien Yang
2016 Finalist
Meet Kaien. Kaien's invention focuses on creating a biodegradable plastic to help reduce pollution worldwide. Using a combination of natural biodegradable resources, Kaien believes his invention has the capability of solving the one of the world's most persistent problems.
Leo Yu
2016 State Merit Winner
5th grade
New York
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.
Eva-Maria Antoni
2015 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Wisconsin
Rishika Bansal
2015 State Merit Winner
6th grade
New Hampshire
Reid Barnett
2015 State Merit Winner
8th grade
North Carolina
Charles Bruchal
2015 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Washington
John Burke
2015 State Merit Winner
5th grade
District of Columbia
Pranav Chhaliyil
2015 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Iowa
Jacob Consalvi
2015 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Virginia
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.
Ava Fisher
2015 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Indiana
Collin Frazey
2015 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Arizona
Rohan Freedman
2015 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Maine
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.
Sonya Ganeshram
2015 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Texas
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!
Rahul Guda
2015 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Nebraska
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.
Camden Hatch
2015 State Merit Winner
8th grade
California
Jordan Hochman
2015 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Florida
Arjun Jain
2015 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Oregon
Melissa Jones
2015 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Maryland
Ari Kamat
2015 State Merit Winner
6th grade
New Jersey
Chirag Kumar
2015 State Merit Winner
8th grade
New York
Noel Lange
2015 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Alabama
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.
Joshua Mbogo
2015 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Pennsylvania
Gavin Miller
2015 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Michigan
Hailey Miller
2015 State Merit Winner
5th grade
Illinois
Ashini Modi
2015 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Louisiana
Arundathi Nair
2015 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Wyoming
David Norwood
2015 State Merit Winner
6th grade
South Carolina
Joshua Parry
2015 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Ohio
Will Paschal
2015 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Georgia
Zane Pasha
2015 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Nevada
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.
srivishnu piratla
2015 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Massachusetts
Johnathan Pollard
2015 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Colorado
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.
Fiona Shyne
2015 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Minnesota
Jessica Stricker
2015 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Connecticut
Sofia Tomov
2015 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Tennessee
Olivia Wagner
2015 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Kentucky
Caleb Young
2015 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Mississippi
Concussion Detection
Braeden Benedict
2011 Winner
Meet Braeden. In order to help diagnose concussions, Braedon developed a low-cost impact detection device that can make it easier to spot harmful concussions in athletes.
William Albrecht
2011 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Louisiana
Anti-Slip Shoes for Roofers
Jack Andraka
2011 Finalist
Jack likes to further pursue scientific research by participating in science fairs! He is also a member of the science, math, and engineering clubs. He is involved in the Boy Scouts and likes to stay active by going kayaking.
Andrew Blonsky
2011 State Merit Winner
7th grade
North Carolina
Clean Energy-Producing Wheels, Capable of Charging a Battery when Spun
Caroline Boschetto
2011 Finalist
Caroline is an active participant in the areas of music and athletics! Her activities consist of theater, flute, piano, guitar, choir, track, cross country, and softball.
Silia Bruchal
2011 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Washington
Aaron Cecil-Xavier
2011 State Merit Winner
5th grade
Oklahoma
Quafae Chahir
2011 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Minnesota
Paco Coursey
2011 State Merit Winner
8th grade
New Mexico
Alexander Cowan
2011 State Merit Winner
8th grade
California
Ice Indicating Solution that is Blue when Thawed, Red when Frozen
Austin Curtis
2011 Finalist
Austin enjoys being a part of the math club and competing in science fairs. He stays active by doing karate
Zury Cutler
2011 State Merit Winner
7th grade
New York
Alec Elston
2011 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Illinois
Melanie Emerson
2011 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Tennessee
Michael Espy
2011 State Merit Winner
Wyoming
Acid Erosion Protection for Teeth
Shayan Farmand
2011 Finalist
Shayan exhibits his passion for science through participating in science fairs, the science club and the math club. He is also a member of the Boy Scouts. Shayan plays the piano and is on the wrestling team.
Devin Goodson
2011 State Merit Winner
8th grade
West Virginia
Aayush Goradia
2011 State Merit Winner
6th grade
New Jersey
Claire Graff
2011 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Georgia
Akanksha Gupta
2011 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Kentucky
McKay Harris
2011 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Utah
Foot Monitors for People with Peripheral Neuropathy
John Holtgrewe
2011 Finalist
John enjoys competing in science fairs and is a member of the academic team at his school.
Food Damage Prevention for Homes & Communities
Cheyenne Hua
2011 Finalist
Cheyenne enjoys competing in science fairs and participating in the math club. She knows how to play two musical instruments, piano and flute, and is also a member of the fencing team.
Ryan Kelly
2011 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Oregon
Aidan Kennedy
2011 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Pennsylvania
Parth Khare
2011 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Kansas
Ayush Kumar
2011 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Massachusetts
Deepika Kurup
2011 State Merit Winner
7th grade
New Hampshire
Oliver Leitner
2011 State Merit Winner
5th grade
Nevada
RFID Device that Alerts a Driver to Upcoming Pedestrian Crosswalks
Nolan Lenard
2011 Finalist
Nolan is a member of the Boy Scouts and B.E.S.T. Robotics. He also enjoys archery.
Ashwin Mahendra
2011 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Florida
John Martin
2011 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Indiana
Aidan McCarty
2011 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Wisconsin
Gabriel Mesa
2011 State Merit Winner
5th grade
Connecticut
Siddharth Nayak
2011 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Maryland
Benny Nielsen
2011 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Iowa
Andrew Olson
2011 State Merit Winner
8th grade
South Carolina
Rohan Palanki
2011 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Alabama
Michael Parnell
2011 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Alaska
Grace Pereira
2011 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Texas
Arjun Ramachandran
2011 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Ohio
Heat Protection Laptop Case
Divya Ravinder
2011 Finalist
This young scientist has a passion for science and math. Divya participates in science fairs and is a member of the math club, Math Counts, Future Business Leaders of America, and the economics team.
Tara Suresh
2011 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Missouri
William Trevillyan
2011 State Merit Winner
8th grade
South Dakota
Paige Trexel
2011 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Colorado
Possession Tracking Device
Albert Tung
2011 Finalist
Albert likes competing in science fairs and is in both the science and math clubs. He is also a member of a symphonic orchestra.