Annual Challenge

Challenge Participants

The 2022 3M Young Scientist Challenge Finalists, State Merit Winners, and Honorable Mentions have been announced! Use the tabs below to check out their big ideas and explore all finalists, winners, mentors, and judges!
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.
Airflow Control Robot
Jaya Choudhary
2019 Finalist
Meet Jaya. Jaya engineered an Airflow Control Robot designed to help reduce energy consumption in the home by eliminating the use of heat in unoccupied rooms.
Magnetic Train Travel
Caroline Crouchley
2019 Finalist
Meet Caroline. Caroline developed a sustainable method of public transportation that eliminates the need for a diesel engine or electric motor in trains.
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.
Finsen Headphones: Treating Mid-Ear Infections Using Machine Learning and Phototherapy
Leanne Fan
2022 Winner
Every year, there are 700 million cases of mid-ear infections (Otitis Media) and nearly 21,000 deaths worldwide. Many of those impacted are children and underprivileged populations. Without medical access and or healthcare, diagnosis and treatment of mid-ear infections are often difficult. Leanne’s invention, Finsen Headphones, provides a low-cost option to detect and treat a mid-ear infection using machine learning and blue light therapy – potentially preventing up to 60% of hearing loss in children.
Hydroponic Carbon Solution
Yosef Granillo
2019 Finalist
Meet Yosef. Yosef developed a solution to mitigate earth’s rising temperatures by planting hydroponic trees in the ocean.
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.
Forest Fire Prevention
Reshma Kosaraju
2019 Finalist
Meet Reshma. Reshma created a predictive model using machine learning and neural networks to predict and prevent the instances of forest fires.
Carbon Capture
Nishant Lahiri
2019 Finalist
Meet Nishant. Nishant developed iCART, a new approach to carbon capture that extracts carbon dioxide from the air and recycles it into natural volcanic rock.
A Novel MoS2 Electrode for Enhancing Electrochemical Hydrogen Production
John Lee
2022 Finalist
Hydrogen (H2) can improve energy consumption by producing an alternative energy source to carbon-based fuels. It has numerous benefits, such as high energy density and zero pollution. However, the current method to produce hydrogen in industries uses fossil fuels, producing carbon dioxide (CO2). Electrochemical hydrogen production can be a clean and efficient alternative to producing hydrogen, with water being the only byproduct. There are several considerations for electrochemical hydrogen production like cathode material, electrolytes, and applied voltage. In this research, metal electrodes (e.g., Zn, Cu, Al, Ni, Sn, and Fe) were tested as metal catalysts for electrochemical hydrogen production to determine optimum operational conditions (e.g., types and concentrations of electrolytes).
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.
OVision - The Automatic Assessment of Ovarian Cancer Features & Mesothelin Protein Overexpression from Histopathological Images using Deep Learning
Samaira Mehta
2022 Finalist
Ovarian cancer (OC) is the deadliest cancer of the female reproductive organs. 65% of ovarian cancer patients die each year in the United States alone. The best way to reduce that number is for doctors to develop a treatment plan that is specific to the patient and their condition. However, to provide patients with the best diagnosis, doctors need to accurately classify the OC subtypes: High-Grade Serous Carcinoma, Low-Grade Serous Carcinoma, Endometrioid Carcinoma, Mucinous Carcinoma, and Clear Cell Carcinoma. By simply looking at histopathological images, it is often difficult for pathologists to distinguish between the subtypes accurately. Samaira’s research project utilizes a Deep Learning Convolutional Neural Network, based on VGG-16, to classify ovarian cancer subtypes and detect whether mesothelin protein was overexpressed, based on histopathological images. Current platforms for uploading histopathological images and getting results on cancer types require a great deal of technical expertise. Aiming to change that, with this platform, any doctor can get access, and receive immediate, accurate results.
ASD Screener - Early Risk Assessment of Autism Spectrum disorder using Machine Learning
Amritha Praveen
2022 Finalist
Autism is one of the most common developmental disabilities that impact social and communication skills. While there is no cure, intensive early intervention can make a big difference in the quality of life for many children. Although it varies between individuals, the gut microbiome has helped successfully predict illnesses. Since microbiome data is high dimensional and non-linear, Amritha researched various feature reduction algorithms to develop an intelligent model that would be efficient and help in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) prediction with more accuracy. This model can help physicians diagnose ASD at an early age using gut microbiome data from fecal samples. This model will also allow researchers to quickly and accurately detect microbial signatures that can serve as biomarkers of ASD risk.
Wind Turbine Efficiencies
Jordan Prawira
2019 Finalist
Meet Jordan. Jordan Prawira invented a wind turbine inspired by hurricane formation concepts to improve the performance and efficiency of current wind turbines.
Pura Aerem: Leveraging Catalytic Converters for Enhanced Filtering Efficacy
Shanza Sami
2022 Finalist
Air pollution is one of the greatest environmental risks to health. By reducing air pollution levels, countries can reduce the burden of diseases from stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma. Shanza Sami has developed a five-stage prototype with a diffuse filtration system, carbon nanotube (CNT) screening, electrolysis chamber, hydrogen fuel cells, and photoelectrochemical oxidation (PECO) technology. The carbon nanotube filtration system will be utilized to adhere to carbon dioxide through dynamic simulations. Additionally, water vapor will be utilized through an electrolysis chamber and hydrogen fuel cell to separate water vapor into breathable oxygen and hydrogen. Shanza hopes to use PECO technology to decompose volatile organic compounds that are dangerous to inhale. 
Water Conservation
Camellia Sharma
2019 Finalist
Meet Camellia. Camellia developed a water leakage detection system to identify underground water leakage and reduce the water lost annually through current distribution systems worldwide.
Infection Monitoring
Samyak Shrimali
2019 Finalist
Meet Samyak. Samyak designed a sensor-based system to track hand hygiene compliance in hospitals to reduce the fatality rate associated with nosocomial infections.
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.
Soil Fungi Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Fights Climate Change using Artificial Intelligence and IOT
Sahasra Swargam
2022 Finalist
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main greenhouse gas responsible for rising global temperatures and abrupt climate changes which threaten food production and ecological systems. Soils help manage climate change and contain two to three times more carbon than the atmosphere. A natural fertilizer, mycorrhizal fungi can increase carbon storage by improving the productivity of crops and vegetation. Using Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT), Saharsa created a method to analyze the soil used for crops that can help predict early crop growth and disease detection. Her solution utilizes three soil moisture sensors, a PH sensor, and a temperature sensor to monitor different soil conditions for plant growth. Using regenerative agricultural practices with eco-friendly AMF (soil-borne fungi) can promote a natural method of capturing carbon dioxide in a cost-effective way of removing CO2 from the atmosphere, which helps in carbon sequestration.
TalkMotion: A Talking Device
Faraz Tamboli
2019 Finalist
Meet Faraz. Faraz invented TalkMotion, a talking device for deaf and aphonic children, that turns a sign language gesture into verbal language, or verbal language into sign language gestures.
Piezoelectric Power Generation from Automotive Tires
Asvini Thivakaran
2022 Finalist
Global warming, climate change, and air pollution are some of the most prevalent global issues of today. High levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere create concern for the health of our environment. The transportation sector is the largest contributor to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, many of which come from passenger cars. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars, the use of electric vehicles needs to grow, but the drawback for many is the limited power of electric vehicle use. To help solve this issue, Asvini invented a way to generate clean power while driving to increase the distance an electric vehicle can travel before needing to be charged. Asvini’s invention uses piezo material on automotive tires to generate clean, environmentally friendly power that will recharge a car while driving. She hopes her invention will attract more people to buy electric vehicles and help reduce the carbon footprint associated with driving.
A Novel Dosing Pump to Prevent Clogs and Organic Overgrowth In AC Condensate Lines
Daniel Thomas
2022 Finalist
Air conditioner condensate drain lines can clog every six to 12 months, costing millions in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) service calls and property damages. This issue can also cause severe health problems for the elderly and asthmatics due to organic overgrowths such as mold and Legionella bacteria. To address this issue, Daniel developed a solution using diluted chlorine to prevent overgrowth, a peristaltic pump, and an ESP8266 Wi-Fi programmer to time the dispensary of the chlorine. Daniel hopes his technique will produce fewer clogs and organic overgrowth in AC condensate lines, which will save homeowners and business money and reduce exposure to dangerous mold and bacteria.
The Comptometrist: An Efficient Way to Determine Myopic Power
Harini Venkatesh
2022 Finalist
The calculation of eye power can be slow and error-prone. On average, it takes nearly an hour to complete an eye examination which can open a window for error. Every year, more than 2.8 million people find significant issues with their optical prescription. To address this issue, Harini developed The Comptometrist, a prototype designed to cut down the time needed to determine myopic power in a patient’s eyes. Harini’s prototype would eliminate crowding in clinics, report accurate measures of myopic power in seconds, and closes the window of error in the eye examination process.
The Automated Car Garden
Austin Ewing
2022 Honorable Mention
My project is a replica of an automated car garden. I used a Greenhouse Kit, BBC MicroBit and a Sphero-RVR rover. I programed the vehicle to travel to different colored squares, which would represent different zip codes in food desert communities. The vehicle would deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to these communities, minimizing food disparities.
Tracking Parkinson's Symptoms and Stages with HandPD Dataset in a Mobile App
Isha Joshi
2022 Honorable Mention
My project tracks and shows the progress of a Parkinson's patient in an app using the HandPD dataset with a VGG16 transfer learning model prototype.
Piezoelectric Roads
Delisha Manuel
2022 Honorable Mention
In this project, I studied the possibility of harvesting the mechanical force of the vehicles on the road as a form of clean energy. According to Newton’s Third Law, the vehicles move forward by pushing back on the road. If the road is fitted with equipment that can convert this mechanical force into electrical energy, then it will result in a form of abundant clean energy.

Piezoelectricity is a phenomenon that converts mechanical stress into electrical force. When some materials like quarts are subjected to mechanical stress, they exhibit an electrical polarity across their two ends. When this voltage difference is applied to a circuit, an electrical current flows through it.

I conducted experiments to measure the relationship between the mechanical force and the generated electrical voltage using a toy car and a piezoelectric tile. I varied the load on the car and its speed and measured the resulting force using a spring balance. I made the car run over the piezoelectric tile and measured the generated voltage using a multimeter.

From my experiments, I found that the greater the force applied on a piezoelectric tile, the more the voltage generated. This is very useful because speeding vehicles exert a great deal of force on the road. If piezoelectric materials are embedded under the road surface, they can generate a very large amount of electrical energy.

Therefore, this project helped discover a new source of clean energy.
Low carbon mat comprises packaging waste materials
Pratyush Sathish Kumar
2022 Honorable Mention
Using neglected cardboard boxes, I mixed cardboard with silicone to make a final rubber floor mat and heat insulating pad
Vesque Method - A Watering Method to Save Water
Aishwarya Agrawal
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Washington
Alexandra Albrecht
2013 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Louisiana
Layaa Amirthalingam
2013 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Texas
Daniel Bayliss
2013 State Merit Winner
8th grade
South Carolina
Alexander Bernat
2013 State Merit Winner
5th grade
Illinois
Water Matters
Sohil Bhatia
2019 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Washington
P.A.M. - Plant Assistance Machine
Toshan Bhattacharya
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Connecticut
Wildfires early detection device- Fire Owl
Maitry Brahmbhatt
2019 State Merit Winner
6th grade
New York
Aaron Cecil-Xavier
2013 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Oklahoma
Disinfecting Feces with MESS (Methyl carbamate Eliminating bacteria by Systematic Sterilization )
Aaron Chin
2019 State Merit Winner
8th grade
California
Madison Crosby
2013 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Missouri
Empowering Communities to Monitor Local Watersheds for Rapid Response
Shriyadita De
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Maryland
Metal Straw Cleaning Device
Olivia Deering
2019 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Colorado
Illuminations
Sara DeVolld
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Alaska
P.O.P. - Promote Our Pollinators
Anna DeVolld
2019 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Alaska
Auto-Lock Trigger System
Emilia Dobek
2019 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Illinois
Cormac Dolezal
2013 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Minnesota
PERCEY (Personal Emotional Robot for Connecting and Educating Youth)
Silas Erwin
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Iowa
Students & Teachers Offered Protection (STOP)
Fatima Falah
2019 State Merit Winner
6th grade
South Carolina
Joseph Farah
2013 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Massachusetts
Irene Fernald
2013 State Merit Winner
8th grade
New Mexico
Evergreen for Money
Leonardo Ferraro
2019 State Merit Winner
5th grade
Florida
Matthew Fleming
2013 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Pennsylvania
Isaiah Florea
2013 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Nebraska
Abigail Fry
2013 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Kansas
A Dog’s Advanced Prosthetic Leg
elizabeth Gill
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Pennsylvania
Alexander Hardin
2013 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Arizona
Elliott Hoppe
2013 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Washington
Eco-Solution: The Earthly Journey into Improving Earth's Water Sources
Salamat Ibrahim
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
New York
Detecting Microplastics in Tea Bags Using Nile Red Dye
Sanjay Iyer
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Arkansas
VertiMoss
Sahit Jayaweera
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Oregon
Aditya Jog
2013 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Ohio
Andee Joos
2013 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Iowa
Save Our Teen Drivers
Amogh Kashyap
2019 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Maryland
Anfanioluwa Lawal
2013 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Wisconsin
Fish flakes from plastic
Lam Le
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
North Dakota
Michael Lee
2013 State Merit Winner
8th grade
New York
Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Significantly Increasing the Efficiency of Vehicles using Recycled Energy
Sonia Leo
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
New Jersey
Prion Scanner
Asa Limmer
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Wyoming
Creating a Healthier Human Society
Catherine Manley
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Tennessee
Mood Melodies
Henry Martin
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Wisconsin
Abigail Martin
2013 State Merit Winner
5th grade
Indiana
Danielle Martino
2013 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Florida
Making Clean Water A Global Reality
Pooja Menon
2019 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Pennsylvania
Approaches to Identify Novel Combinations of Natural Medicine to Treat Bacterial Infections
Ekansh Mittal
2019 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Oregon
UMT
Nosrat Montaha
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Oklahoma
Sarah Mostafa
2013 State Merit Winner
6th grade
New Jersey
Nandini Naidu
2013 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Oregon
Suppress that Algae: Mitigating the Effects of Harmful Algal Blooms through Preemptive Detection and Suppression
Sharanya Natarajan
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Florida
NOMADS Nutrient Optimized Mangrove Drop Sheath for Aerial Reforestation
Luka Nguyen
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Nevada
DAG: A Low Cost, Natural, Water Resistant Fire Retardant
Rohith Nuthakki
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Indiana
Rupa Palanki
2013 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Alabama
Smart Adjustable Prosthetics
Ryan Park
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
California
Nicholas Pett
2013 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Maryland
Smart Apparel: A Low-Cost Form of Smart Clothing for Better Patient Monitoring in Hospitals
Samhita Pokkunuri
2019 State Merit Winner
6th grade
New Jersey
Nikita Rafikov
2013 State Merit Winner
5th grade
Georgia
Energenius CEGO (Clean Energy on the Go): A Green Way to Power Batteries on the Go
Vikram Raju
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Colorado
Rahul Ramesh
2013 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Colorado
Just Soapz
Samvrit Rao
2019 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Virginia
Nicholas Roberts
2013 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Alaska
Scott Rosenbloom
2013 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Virginia
CardioStrip: Early Detection of Heart Disease Using Nanoparticles
Vinod Ruppa-Kasani
2019 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Georgia
A Solution to Help Decrease CO2 in Our Atmosphere
Timothy Ryer
2019 State Merit Winner
6th grade
New Mexico
A Flexible Biodegradable Non-Hormonal Nano-Fiber Intrauterine Contraceptive Device
Varuni Saranu
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Texas
DriveAlive: A Microcontroller Based Distracted Driving Monitor
Adithya Sastry
2019 State Merit Winner
5th grade
Tennessee
The EXPLORER System - The new and fun way to exercise for differently-abled individuals.
Viraj Shah
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
North Carolina
The Smoke Shield: Respirator Designed for Infants
Viraj Shah
2019 State Merit Winner
7th grade
North Carolina
100% Biodegradable Plastics!!! Is it true? Year 2
Shagun Shrivastava
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Minnesota
Smart Trash Can
Iraj Shroff
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Arizona
Harper Slusher
2013 State Merit Winner
8th grade
North Carolina
Erik Svetin
2013 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Hawaii
Hear Me Out - Hyper-personalized Speech Recognition and Synthesis for the Speech Impaired
Kaavya Tatavarty
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Ohio
Microfiber Filter
J.R. Tibbetts
2019 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Maine
Nifty Nanogenerators! - Electricity Generation Using Triboelectricity
Kriesh Tivare
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Virginia
Microcontroller-Driven Remote HVAC Monitoring System for a Greener Planet
Maya Trutschl
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Louisiana
Democratizing CO2 Capture - A Means to Address Climate Crisis
Vivek Varanasi
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Massachusetts
Safe Ride
Preethika Vemula
2019 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Massachusetts
Maggie Walker
2013 State Merit Winner
5th grade
West Virginia
Robert Walters
2013 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Tennessee
Converting Sound into Electricity
Katherine Webb
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Georgia
Clean Coal Energy System
Parker Welsh
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Kansas
Maximillian Wilde
2013 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Nevada
PCB – Plastic Composting Bin
Caleb Wilson
2019 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Texas
Michelle Xu
2013 State Merit Winner
8th grade
California
Origami-Based Disaster-Relief Deployable Shelters
James Yu
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Illinois