Devin - One Thing Leads to Another

Devin Willis checking in!

Of all the problems in the world, how did I decide which one to focus on? After a few years of identifying projects for entry into my school science fair, I realized that my best projects were the ones that personally related to me. I always took those projects to the next level because I really wanted to know the outcome or find a solution. During the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge brainstorming process, I considered three possible projects to work on; I chose to solve the problem related to cancer diagnosis and cancer research because I have personal connection and believe that it can have the greatest impact. Working on this project will expose me to my future career as a bioengineer and will possibly be a solution for a well-known problem in healthcare.

I am a builder, I began my technology career with Legos and steadily progressed to programming and electronics. Along the way I often used 3D  printers and that technology really caught my attention, it has so much potential.  I wondered if similar technology could move a camera with cellular level accuracy...which led to my DIscovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge project. This project combines skills that I enjoy, a personal connection  and most importantly, real world impact.

Teamwork is everything and I am fortunate to have 3M scientist,  John Henderson on my team.  As my mentor, John provides me knowledge, motivation and inspiration. He has been really helpful as someone I can bounce my ideas off of and get immediate feedback to help improve my design. He even introduced me to another 3M scientist to assist me with the optics on my project. I am constantly amazed at all the products that 3M sells and the different industries that use their products. I have accomplished much more with John’s guidance and am actually starting to build my second prototype which was designed over the past two months. Knowing that I have a Skype meeting planned with John keeps me moving forward on my project, I know John’s time is valuable, so when we meet I have to be ready with the next step in the plan and my next set of questions. This is such a major opportunity, I want to make the most of it.

Signing off,

Devin Willis