Conserving Water, Our Most Precious Natural Resource
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Camellia Sharma
Glen Allen, Virginia
2019 Finalist
George H Moody Middle School
7800 Woodman Rd
Henrico, VA 23228-3826
6th grade | 12 years old
Meet Camellia. Camellia developed a water leakage detection system to identify underground water leakage and reduce the estimated 48.6 billion cubic meters of water lost annually through current distribution systems worldwide.
Why did you enter the Young Scientist Challenge?
I entered because it is engineering oriented and about finding real-world solutions. I was identified dually gifted in language arts and math in the third grade. I qualified for Mensa in the first grade and I am a life member of the organization. I love everything about STEM courses. However, I like engineering more than the basic sciences. The 3M Young Scientist Challenge gives me a forum for exploring electronics and hydraulics at a level far beyond my school curriculum. This was my first attempt at serious coding. I never realized that it is so much fun!
What is your favorite invention of the last 100 years, and why?
White LEDs (light emitting diodes) are my favorite invention because they consume significantly lesser energy than the comparable technologies. It is hard to miss those around us. They are in the automobile headlights, home lighting and even handheld flashlights. The white LEDs made the incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) obsolete. 

Not surprisingly, three researchers from Japan and The United States were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2014 for the invention. According to the Nobel Committee, “Incandescent light bulbs lit the 20th century; the 21st century will be lit by LED lamps”. LEDs consume much less energy. They produce 300 lumens of light per watt of electricity. The numbers for incandescent and CFL are 16 and 70, respectively. LEDs also last longer (100,000 hours). (
In 15 years I hope to be...
a mechanical or electrical engineer. Ultimately, I want to work in manufacturing. Automobile and shipbuilding are my two top choices. I also plan to get an MBA to improve my leadership skills.
“Creativity is intelligence having fun”. - Einstein
Camellia Sharma