RESHMA – Entering the Young Scientist Challenge

Hello! My name is Reshma Kosaraju and I am a rising 8th grader. I live in San Jose, California, with my family which includes my parents and my younger brother. Ever since my first field trip to the Chicago Planetarium as a kindergartner, I have always had a fascination and a natural curiosity with questioning and learning about how things work - this curiosity has only grown stronger with every passing year. Added to this passion for science is the desire to do something to improve the world. My parents have always taught me that I may be a kid, but my dreams never need to be small! One of my favorite movies growing up was “The Hunger Games”. It shows that anyone can have an impact on the world in their own way.

I first heard about the 3M Young Scientist Challenge through some friends. After researching the challenge, I knew that this was an opportunity of a lifetime and I couldn’t let this slip away. The chance of working with a 3M scientist over the summer if I became a finalist was too tempting for me. In addition, I would get a chance to learn about so many other new things that my peers are working on. The 3M Young Scientist Challenge was a dream come true. First came the selection – what topic do I choose? More to come on this later…

While making my entry video, I learned many different things. First, I realized that I needed a plan for what I wanted to convey. Do I write a script first and create video to match or do I try to create a video with the dialogue added as appropriate? I quickly realized that I needed a solid script first to help me conceptualize my ideas.

Next came the preparation. While researching my topic, I learned so many different things. Not only did I acquire extensive knowledge about my topic of interest, but I also learned a lot about other things as well.

And finally, the execution - video making and video editing. It sounded easy at first, but I soon found out that it is a long and painful process. However, I realized the potential of being able to convey one’s ideas visually and it actually became fun. I have already started using these newfound video-making skills for other projects.

However, video editing was not the hardest part of entering the challenge. After submitting my entry, I was on pins and needles and found it extremely challenging to wait to find out if I was going to be a finalist. There wasn’t a day that would pass without me thinking about whether or not I would be a finalist.

When I first found out that I became a finalist, I couldn’t believe it. I thought I was dreaming about what I had just heard. My family was very proud of me. After I got over the initial shock of the news, I realized what this actually meant - I would have the opportunity to work with a scientist from 3M for the whole summer! I already feel like a winner!

This also means that I now get to compete with some of my brightest peers – Let the Games Begin!