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!
An Approach to Detect Fruit Disease using Images
Laasya Acharya
2020 Finalist
Meet Laasya. Laasya developed a solution that will allow farmers to easily and effectively detect diseased and unhealthy crops to reduce food waste and loss during the harvesting phase.
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.
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.
SoleX Turf: Good for Your Sole, Good for Your Planet
Xavier Baquero-Iglesias
2020 Finalist
Meet Xavier. Xavier invented SoleX Turf, a highly renewable, nontoxic alternative energy source to replace current energy solutions that use non-renewable, toxic components.
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.
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.
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.
Finsen Headphones: Treating Mid-Ear Infections Using Machine Learning and Phototherapy
Leanne Fan
2022 Finalist
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.
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.
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.'
Neuroplasticity: Enabling Stroke Patients to Repair Motor Skills by Imitating Motion Between Hands
Rithvik Ijju
2020 Finalist
Meet Rithvik. Rithvik invented a novel robotic glove system designed to fast-track stroke rehabilitation of motor skills in the hands through neuroplasticity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Modeling Gut Microbiome using 3D Microfluidics for Cancer Detection
Ekansh Mittal
2020 Finalist
Meet Ekansh. Ekansh developed a microfluidic device that mimics conditions of the gut microbiome to help test the relationship between bacteria and cancer, as well as new treatments against the disease-causing microorganisms and cancer cells.
Video Analysis of Hand Tremor to aid in Telehealth
Sritej Padmanabhan
2022 Finalist
Hand tremor disorders are frequently misdiagnosed, due to a lack of accurate and reliable measurements outside of hospital lab settings. In addition, access to neurologists can be a challenge for rural populations. To address these challenges, Sritej created a Python code utilizing OpenCV and MediaPipe libraries to analyze computer vision measurements of hand movement from video capture. Based on his study, Sritej concluded that video analysis of hand tremors provides accurate and reliable measures and would potentially reduce tremor misdiagnosis, help remotely and effectively manage patient care, and aid in telehealth.
Honey Comb: An alternate approach to reduce indoor air pollution
Harsha Pillarisetti
2020 Finalist
Meet Harsha. Harsha identified an alternate, low-cost approach to reducing indoor air pollution using leaf-like structures inside the home.
Robotic Swarms: Intelligent Network of Robots Performing Cooperative Tasks
Samhita Pokkunuri
2020 Finalist
Meet Samhita. Samhita designed and programmed multiple robots to mimic swarm intelligence to be used to accomplish complex tasks and collect data and information in the aid of healthcare, agriculture, construction, security and military operations.
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.
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.”
BOREAS: The next evolution in Telemedicine
Samvrit Rao
2020 Finalist
Meet Samvrit. Samvrit developed BOREAS, an affordable telemedicine-based solution that accurately captures and relays breath sounds along with symptomatic data to physicians with use of a unified hardware-software app solution.
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. 
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.
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.
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.
A Portable Microscopic Particle Meter Using Image Processing and Laser Microscopy
Kyle Tianshi
2020 Finalist
Meet Kyle. Kyle designed a portable Total Suspended Solids (TSS) device that easily and clearly detects invisible particles in water to monitor water quality and contamination levels.
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.
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.
Muck-rete: Constructive Utilization of Indian River Lagoon Muck
Sophia Weiner
2020 Finalist
Meet Sophia. Sophia created Muck-rete, a constructive way to utilize muck found in water as an aggregate in concrete and eliminate the need for Muck-sites.
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.
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.”