Cameron - A Summer of Science, Fun, and More Science

I am Cameron from Richmond, Virginia. I am honored to be a finalist in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. I am looking forward to meeting everyone in a few short months.

My summer started with a Rotterdam to Boston cruise. Norway, England, Iceland, Greenland and Canada were awesome! The midnight sun and sailing past the city-block-sized icebergs (without recreating the Titanic moment) was surreal. Seeing how living beings have adapted to the harsh conditions of the Arctic regions was highly educational.

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I learned about the contest from Johns Hopkins’ Center for the Talented Youth. I decided to enter the competition for numerous reasons including the global forum for sharing my innovation, opportunity to meet and learn from highly-gifted peers, and work with an accomplished 3M scientist.

Creating the video was both fun and challenging. Video presentation was a new and interesting experience for me, very different from the traditional tri-fold boards. It was challenging because I had so much material that I wanted to cover. I had to condense two years of dense research into just two minutes.

If I thought that making a two-minute long video was hard, waiting for the results was even harder. I was anxious because this is a one-of-a-kind opportunity with long odds. Many bright young scientists, with amazing innovations, had entered.

I shared the great news with friends and family, soon after the phone call from 3M/Discovery. They were thrilled. They have shared it abundantly over the social media. It was exciting that I got interviewed on TV within hours.

Being a finalist, I already feel like a winner. The traffic on my website ( has increased tremendously since the nomination. Regardless of the outcome, I plan to continue working on the highly pathogenic influenza virus and publish my research in scientific journals.

I would like to thank 3M and Discovery Education for hosting this competition and giving me this opportunity. I also want to thank my mentor, Dr. Mahfuza Ali, for her assistance. It will be a busy summer of science and more science. I am also working on a second project. It is in astrophysics, studying the impact of asteroids on terrestrial planets.


Cameron Sharma