Annual Challenge

Challenge Participants

The 2022 3M Young Scientist Challenge Finalists, State Merit Winners, and Honorable Mentions have been announced! Use the tabs below to check out their big ideas and explore all finalists, winners, mentors, and judges!
The Automated Car Garden
Austin Ewing
2022 Honorable Mention
My project is a replica of an automated car garden. I used a Greenhouse Kit, BBC MicroBit and a Sphero-RVR rover. I programed the vehicle to travel to different colored squares, which would represent different zip codes in food desert communities. The vehicle would deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to these communities, minimizing food disparities.
Tracking Parkinson's Symptoms and Stages with HandPD Dataset in a Mobile App
Isha Joshi
2022 Honorable Mention
My project tracks and shows the progress of a Parkinson's patient in an app using the HandPD dataset with a VGG16 transfer learning model prototype.
Piezoelectric Roads
Delisha Manuel
2022 Honorable Mention
In this project, I studied the possibility of harvesting the mechanical force of the vehicles on the road as a form of clean energy. According to Newton’s Third Law, the vehicles move forward by pushing back on the road. If the road is fitted with equipment that can convert this mechanical force into electrical energy, then it will result in a form of abundant clean energy.

Piezoelectricity is a phenomenon that converts mechanical stress into electrical force. When some materials like quarts are subjected to mechanical stress, they exhibit an electrical polarity across their two ends. When this voltage difference is applied to a circuit, an electrical current flows through it.

I conducted experiments to measure the relationship between the mechanical force and the generated electrical voltage using a toy car and a piezoelectric tile. I varied the load on the car and its speed and measured the resulting force using a spring balance. I made the car run over the piezoelectric tile and measured the generated voltage using a multimeter.

From my experiments, I found that the greater the force applied on a piezoelectric tile, the more the voltage generated. This is very useful because speeding vehicles exert a great deal of force on the road. If piezoelectric materials are embedded under the road surface, they can generate a very large amount of electrical energy.

Therefore, this project helped discover a new source of clean energy.
Low carbon mat comprises packaging waste materials
Pratyush Sathish Kumar
2022 Honorable Mention
Using neglected cardboard boxes, I mixed cardboard with silicone to make a final rubber floor mat and heat insulating pad
Finsen Headphones: Treating Mid-Ear Infections Using Machine Learning and Phototherapy
Leanne Fan
2022 Winner
Every year, there are 700 million cases of mid-ear infections (Otitis Media) and nearly 21,000 deaths worldwide. Many of those impacted are children and underprivileged populations. Without medical access and or healthcare, diagnosis and treatment of mid-ear infections are often difficult. Leanne’s invention, Finsen Headphones, provides a low-cost option to detect and treat a mid-ear infection using machine learning and blue light therapy – potentially preventing up to 60% of hearing loss in children.
Photocatalytic Rod for Green and Sustainable Water Purification
Deepika Kurup
2012 Winner
Meet Deepika. She created a cost effective and sustainable water-purification system which harnesses solar energy to disinfect contaminated water. Her innovation aims to help improve the lives of the 1.1 billion people around the world who lack access to clean drinking water.
"Tethys" : Water Lead Contamination Detector
Gitanjali Rao
2017 Winner
Meet Gitanjali. Gitanjali hopes to reduce the time of lead detection in water by using a mobile app, to connect over Bluetooth to get status of water, almost immediately.