Caroline - I think I can, I think I can - Building my Prototype

Hello fellow scientists,

This summer was one of the most important experiences of my life!  Not only did I develop my skills as a scientist by immersing myself in the scientific and research process as a 3M Finalist, I was able to see my original idea develop into a working prototype!  The use of 3M projects improved the results of my experiments substantially and allowed my prototype to work more efficiently, giving me hope that my innovation will significantly impact the world.

The most challenging part for me was learning the computer software technologies and mathematical programs to develop my project further. I was able to connect with a data specialist at 3M who helped me with several technical computing problems I encountered in Matlab.  I also experienced many setbacks, problems, and frustrations with my 3D printer, Autodesk Inventor software, and my renewable energy storage tank.  In the end these problems challenged me to look deeper for answers and taught me that the best scientists practice both patience and persistence.

I was reminded by my older brother that successful innovators are open to new ideas. If you get too focused on one idea you can miss a lot of the solutions. This advice served me well as often times my best ideas came from trying a new approach. 

My mentor Kandyce Bohannon has been a great source of inspiration!  She gave me constructive feedback, guided me on the use of 3M products and gave me tools to take my innovation to the next level. Having the opportunity to visit with her weekly on Skype kept me on track with my goals! 

Until next time,

Caroline

"I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy."— Marie Curie, physicist, chemist, and winner of the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics and the 1911 Nobel Prize in Physics