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!
TraffEnerate: Generating Electricity from Vehicular Traffic
Laalitya Acharya
2017 Finalist
Meet Laalitya. Laalitya hopes to revolutionize energy in developing countries by using vehicular motion to generate and harness clean and affordable energy.
A Novel Method for Oil Spill Cleanup Using Biomass
Anika Bhagavatula
2017 Finalist
Meet Anika. Anika hopes to find a natural sorbent which would be effective in replacing current environmentally damaging solutions to remedy oil spills, using pomegranate husk and orange peels.
Archimedes Inspired Hydro-Powered Solar PV Azimuth Tracking Mechanism: Improving the Efficiency of Renewable Energy in Developing Nations
Austin Crouchley
2017 Finalist
Meet Austin. Austin hopes to improve the efficiency of renewable energy in developing nations using a unique low-cost solar tracker alternative.
Remembering Alzheimer's: In silico study on plant alkaloid derivatives as inhibitors of 3 well known drug targets responsible for the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease
Rithvik Ganesh
2017 Finalist
Meet Rithvik. Rithvik's project deals with how specific plant components can be used to treat Alzheimer's disease.
Laser Coach
Simone Jacobs
2017 Finalist
Meet Simone. Simone hopes to improve tennis skills all while keeping the public active and healthy by making tennis more accessible.
Lawn Bot
Kathryn Lampo
2017 Finalist
Meet Kathryn. Her innovation, Lawn Bot, aims to reduce the amount of fresh water wasted during home lawn care.
PBIF (Perception Based Interaction Framework)
Samu Shrestha
2017 Finalist
Meet Samu. Samu created a framework-based application that allows users to create custom-tailored forms of visual and verbal interaction between desktop and mobile devices.
Bringing the Incentive Back to the Incentive Spirometer
Allie Weber
2017 Finalist
Meet Allie. Allie hopes to revolutionize the way people design medical equipment for children starting with the incentive spirometer.
SLIDEMAP Precision Digital Pathology in Cancer Using Deep Learning
Devin Willis
2017 Finalist
Meet Devin. Devin hopes his innovation SLIDEMAP can act as the pathologists in third world countries while in developed countries it can aid pathologists and help them make more accurate diagnosis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Breaking the AGE Barrier!!!
Mythri Ambatipudi
2014 Finalist
Meet Mythri. Mythri’s invention seeks to address the root cause of many life-threatening diseases, like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Her passion for science, research, and computational biochemistry fueled her desire to enter the Young Scientist Challenge. Mythri loves reading books, both fiction and nonfiction, on her Kindle.
Development of a Search and Rescue Robot
David Cohen
2014 Finalist
Meet David. After hearing about the devastating tornado in Granbury, Texas last year, David started thinking about how technology could help locate victims in a disaster. He designed his rescue robot which he believes is unique in that it could survive being crushed and might be able to squeeze through smaller gaps.
WANBRC - Calculations that Save Lives
Ana Humphrey
2014 Finalist
Meet Ana. Ana thinks her invention, WANBRC, has the possibility to change thousands of lives. She hopes the resources of the Young Scientist Challenge will help improve WANBRC so she can help better the lives of others.

Ana's favorite invention of the last 100 years is the 3D printer because it can create anything from toys to clothing to tools for robots. 'If used effectively, it could cut manufacturing time and costs, and give the consumer incredible options for customization.'
Reducing the Amount of Electricity Used by Computers using Green Techologies
Christopher Isozaki
2014 Finalist
Meet Christopher. Christopher’s computer cooling device, which generates electricity by harvesting the heat of the computer, is designed to help save the environment by reducing the consumption of electricity and be economical by reducing energy costs.
Make Driving Safer by Reducing the Probability of Hydroplaning
Anthony Kim
2014 Finalist
Meet Anthony. Anthony’s innovation helps to make driving safer by reducing the probability of hydroplaning. He thought the Young Scientist Challenge would be a fun opportunity to invent something new and help the world too.

Anthony’s favorite invention of the last 100 years is the automobile because it is the machine that transports people much faster to places.
Solar Powered Air Purifying Window
Jai Kumar
2014 Finalist
Meet Jai. Jai saw the Young Scientist Challenge as an opportunity to challenge him in identifying and solving a major issue in the world. Past participants inspired him and Jai was also thrilled at the prospect of working with 3M mentors.

Jai enjoys exploring how to use technology to solve everyday problems. He’s even created a gaming system for the senior center where he volunteers and an automatic light dimmer that sense sound levels in a school cafeteria.
Voltage Generated By Oscillations From Robotic Simulator
Andrew Masek
2014 Finalist
Meet Andrew. Andrew’s idea captures energy to recharge a battery using man’s favorite 4-legged friend! Andrew thought the Young Scientist Challenge would be a great opportunity to have fun and learn about science. In 15 years, Andrew hopes to be an electrical engineer.
Biolight for Future Architecture
Nikita Rafikov
2014 Finalist
Meet Nikita. Nikita entered the Young Scientist Challenge to showcase his talents, hoping it would help further his dream of going to college early. He also is fascinated by space exploration.

His favorite invention of the last 100 years is the International Space Station. “I like the idea of men living in space and I get fascinated by the opportunity of Space exploration.”
A Driver's Companion - Using Brainwave and Eye Blinks to Detect Driver Drowsiness
Katherine Wu
2014 Finalist
Meet Katherine. Katherine’s invention uses brainwaves to proactively prevent drowsy driving. With her invention, Katherine hopes to inform people of the dangers of drowsy driving, so they can lead safer lives.

Katherine’s favorite invention from the last 100 years is the internet because it’s a network that has connected people across the globe and changed the world. “People share information, work, and communicate through the internet all the time now.”
Solar Energy System and Natural Fibonacci Sequence
Aidan Dwyer
2012 Finalist
Aidan is a member of Boy Scouts, Band, and Art Club. He also enjoys sailing, track, and golf.
Naren Gaurav
2012 Finalist
Naren participates in Lego Robotics and Science Bowl. He is also learning to speak Mandarin and plays the piano, basketball and chess.
Brandon Gong
2012 Finalist
Brandon is a member of Science Olympiad, Science Club, and Math Club. He also plays the clarinet, piano, and the oboe.
Oxygen Absorber Bag to Prolong the Shelf-life of Food
Carolyn Jons
2012 Finalist
Carolyn is a member of school orchestra and chamber orchestra. She also enjoys playing soccer and tennis and unicycling.
Travois with Wheels Helps Parents Carry Children Across the African Desert
Chase Lewis
2012 Finalist
Chase is a member of 4H Club, Math Club, and Boy Scouts. He also enjoys competing in science fairs.
Gabriel Mesa
2012 Finalist
Gabriel enjoys playing the saxophone and soccer.
A Novel Configuration of Carbon Nanotubes
Anin Sayana
2012 Finalist
Anin is a member of Science Olympiad and Math Club. He also enjoys playing the piano, basketball and tennis.
Can Summoning a Pharmacist Reduce OTC Drug Errors
Patrick Shea
2012 Finalist
Patrick participates in Science Fairs and competes in basketball, hockey, baseball, golf, and track.
Eco-friendly Clay to Save Coral
Anishaa Sivakumar
2012 Finalist
Anishaa is a member of Science Club, Math Club, and Science Olympiad. She also enjoys singing, dancing, Taekwondo, and tennis.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.