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!
Breaking the AGE Barrier!!!
Mythri Ambatipudi
2014 Finalist
Meet Mythri. Mythri’s invention seeks to address the root cause of many life-threatening diseases, like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Her passion for science, research, and computational biochemistry fueled her desire to enter the Young Scientist Challenge. Mythri loves reading books, both fiction and nonfiction, on her Kindle.
A Novel Toilet Flushing System using Grey Water and Fresh Water
Mehaa Amirthalingam
2018 Finalist
Meet Mehaa. Mehaa developed a toilet flushing system that uses both fresh and recycled water to reduce water consumption in the home.
Low cost Archery Assistant with an Interface for the Visually Impaired
Sriram Bhimaraju
2018 Finalist
Meet Sriram. Sriram developed Archery Assistant, an app that improves an archer’s accuracy by correcting form in real-time using a Bluetooth sensor.
Development of a Search and Rescue Robot
David Cohen
2014 Finalist
Meet David. After hearing about the devastating tornado in Granbury, Texas last year, David started thinking about how technology could help locate victims in a disaster. He designed his rescue robot which he believes is unique in that it could survive being crushed and might be able to squeeze through smaller gaps.
Smart Infrared Based ROV to Identify and Remove Microplastics from Marine Environments
Anna Du
2018 Finalist
Meet Anna. Anna created an underwater device that uses infrared light to detect harmful microplastics in the ocean.
Finsen Headphones: Treating Mid-Ear Infections Using Machine Learning and Phototherapy
Leanne Fan
2022 Finalist
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.
Alginate Gel for Pulled Teeth
Julia Gelfond
2018 Finalist
Meet Julia. Julia’s innovative use of Alginate Gel helps to alleviate pain, infection and suffering of millions who get their teeth pulled each year.
SOS Save Our Silence: An Optical Approach to Controlling Digital Noise Cancellation
Zachary Hessler
2018 Finalist
Meet Zachary. Zachary developed a method using light technology to reduce noise pollution.
WANBRC - Calculations that Save Lives
Ana Humphrey
2014 Finalist
Meet Ana. Ana thinks her invention, WANBRC, has the possibility to change thousands of lives. She hopes the resources of the Young Scientist Challenge will help improve WANBRC so she can help better the lives of others.

Ana's favorite invention of the last 100 years is the 3D printer because it can create anything from toys to clothing to tools for robots. 'If used effectively, it could cut manufacturing time and costs, and give the consumer incredible options for customization.'
Reducing the Amount of Electricity Used by Computers using Green Techologies
Christopher Isozaki
2014 Finalist
Meet Christopher. Christopher’s computer cooling device, which generates electricity by harvesting the heat of the computer, is designed to help save the environment by reducing the consumption of electricity and be economical by reducing energy costs.
Textricity: Using Piezoelectric Plates to Harvest Electricity from Taps on a Cell Phone
Theodore Jiang
2018 Finalist
Meet Theodore. Theodore created a smartphone case that harvests energy from finger taps on the screen to charge the phone’s battery.
Make Driving Safer by Reducing the Probability of Hydroplaning
Anthony Kim
2014 Finalist
Meet Anthony. Anthony’s innovation helps to make driving safer by reducing the probability of hydroplaning. He thought the Young Scientist Challenge would be a fun opportunity to invent something new and help the world too.

Anthony’s favorite invention of the last 100 years is the automobile because it is the machine that transports people much faster to places.
Solar Powered Air Purifying Window
Jai Kumar
2014 Finalist
Meet Jai. Jai saw the Young Scientist Challenge as an opportunity to challenge him in identifying and solving a major issue in the world. Past participants inspired him and Jai was also thrilled at the prospect of working with 3M mentors.

Jai enjoys exploring how to use technology to solve everyday problems. He’s even created a gaming system for the senior center where he volunteers and an automatic light dimmer that sense sound levels in a school cafeteria.
A Novel MoS2 Electrode for Enhancing Electrochemical Hydrogen Production
John Lee
2022 Finalist
Hydrogen (H2) can improve energy consumption by producing an alternative energy source to carbon-based fuels. It has numerous benefits, such as high energy density and zero pollution. However, the current method to produce hydrogen in industries uses fossil fuels, producing carbon dioxide (CO2). Electrochemical hydrogen production can be a clean and efficient alternative to producing hydrogen, with water being the only byproduct. There are several considerations for electrochemical hydrogen production like cathode material, electrolytes, and applied voltage. In this research, metal electrodes (e.g., Zn, Cu, Al, Ni, Sn, and Fe) were tested as metal catalysts for electrochemical hydrogen production to determine optimum operational conditions (e.g., types and concentrations of electrolytes).
Voltage Generated By Oscillations From Robotic Simulator
Andrew Masek
2014 Finalist
Meet Andrew. Andrew’s idea captures energy to recharge a battery using man’s favorite 4-legged friend! Andrew thought the Young Scientist Challenge would be a great opportunity to have fun and learn about science. In 15 years, Andrew hopes to be an electrical engineer.
OVision - The Automatic Assessment of Ovarian Cancer Features & Mesothelin Protein Overexpression from Histopathological Images using Deep Learning
Samaira Mehta
2022 Finalist
Ovarian cancer (OC) is the deadliest cancer of the female reproductive organs. 65% of ovarian cancer patients die each year in the United States alone. The best way to reduce that number is for doctors to develop a treatment plan that is specific to the patient and their condition. However, to provide patients with the best diagnosis, doctors need to accurately classify the OC subtypes: High-Grade Serous Carcinoma, Low-Grade Serous Carcinoma, Endometrioid Carcinoma, Mucinous Carcinoma, and Clear Cell Carcinoma. By simply looking at histopathological images, it is often difficult for pathologists to distinguish between the subtypes accurately. Samaira’s research project utilizes a Deep Learning Convolutional Neural Network, based on VGG-16, to classify ovarian cancer subtypes and detect whether mesothelin protein was overexpressed, based on histopathological images. Current platforms for uploading histopathological images and getting results on cancer types require a great deal of technical expertise. Aiming to change that, with this platform, any doctor can get access, and receive immediate, accurate results.
ASD Screener - Early Risk Assessment of Autism Spectrum disorder using Machine Learning
Amritha Praveen
2022 Finalist
Autism is one of the most common developmental disabilities that impact social and communication skills. While there is no cure, intensive early intervention can make a big difference in the quality of life for many children. Although it varies between individuals, the gut microbiome has helped successfully predict illnesses. Since microbiome data is high dimensional and non-linear, Amritha researched various feature reduction algorithms to develop an intelligent model that would be efficient and help in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) prediction with more accuracy. This model can help physicians diagnose ASD at an early age using gut microbiome data from fecal samples. This model will also allow researchers to quickly and accurately detect microbial signatures that can serve as biomarkers of ASD risk.
Biolight for Future Architecture
Nikita Rafikov
2014 Finalist
Meet Nikita. Nikita entered the Young Scientist Challenge to showcase his talents, hoping it would help further his dream of going to college early. He also is fascinated by space exploration.

His favorite invention of the last 100 years is the International Space Station. “I like the idea of men living in space and I get fascinated by the opportunity of Space exploration.”
Pura Aerem: Leveraging Catalytic Converters for Enhanced Filtering Efficacy
Shanza Sami
2022 Finalist
Air pollution is one of the greatest environmental risks to health. By reducing air pollution levels, countries can reduce the burden of diseases from stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma. Shanza Sami has developed a five-stage prototype with a diffuse filtration system, carbon nanotube (CNT) screening, electrolysis chamber, hydrogen fuel cells, and photoelectrochemical oxidation (PECO) technology. The carbon nanotube filtration system will be utilized to adhere to carbon dioxide through dynamic simulations. Additionally, water vapor will be utilized through an electrolysis chamber and hydrogen fuel cell to separate water vapor into breathable oxygen and hydrogen. Shanza hopes to use PECO technology to decompose volatile organic compounds that are dangerous to inhale. 
uFlu: Your Personalized Flu Vaccine
Cameron Sharma
2018 Finalist
Meet Cameron. Cameron created a computer model that calculates the seasonal flu vaccine using artificial intelligence (AI) and deep machine learning to identify personalized flue vaccines.
Soil Fungi Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Fights Climate Change using Artificial Intelligence and IOT
Sahasra Swargam
2022 Finalist
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main greenhouse gas responsible for rising global temperatures and abrupt climate changes which threaten food production and ecological systems. Soils help manage climate change and contain two to three times more carbon than the atmosphere. A natural fertilizer, mycorrhizal fungi can increase carbon storage by improving the productivity of crops and vegetation. Using Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT), Saharsa created a method to analyze the soil used for crops that can help predict early crop growth and disease detection. Her solution utilizes three soil moisture sensors, a PH sensor, and a temperature sensor to monitor different soil conditions for plant growth. Using regenerative agricultural practices with eco-friendly AMF (soil-borne fungi) can promote a natural method of capturing carbon dioxide in a cost-effective way of removing CO2 from the atmosphere, which helps in carbon sequestration.
Piezoelectric Power Generation from Automotive Tires
Asvini Thivakaran
2022 Finalist
Global warming, climate change, and air pollution are some of the most prevalent global issues of today. High levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere create concern for the health of our environment. The transportation sector is the largest contributor to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, many of which come from passenger cars. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars, the use of electric vehicles needs to grow, but the drawback for many is the limited power of electric vehicle use. To help solve this issue, Asvini invented a way to generate clean power while driving to increase the distance an electric vehicle can travel before needing to be charged. Asvini’s invention uses piezo material on automotive tires to generate clean, environmentally friendly power that will recharge a car while driving. She hopes her invention will attract more people to buy electric vehicles and help reduce the carbon footprint associated with driving.
A Novel Dosing Pump to Prevent Clogs and Organic Overgrowth In AC Condensate Lines
Daniel Thomas
2022 Finalist
Air conditioner condensate drain lines can clog every six to 12 months, costing millions in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) service calls and property damages. This issue can also cause severe health problems for the elderly and asthmatics due to organic overgrowths such as mold and Legionella bacteria. To address this issue, Daniel developed a solution using diluted chlorine to prevent overgrowth, a peristaltic pump, and an ESP8266 Wi-Fi programmer to time the dispensary of the chlorine. Daniel hopes his technique will produce fewer clogs and organic overgrowth in AC condensate lines, which will save homeowners and business money and reduce exposure to dangerous mold and bacteria.
The Comptometrist: An Efficient Way to Determine Myopic Power
Harini Venkatesh
2022 Finalist
The calculation of eye power can be slow and error-prone. On average, it takes nearly an hour to complete an eye examination which can open a window for error. Every year, more than 2.8 million people find significant issues with their optical prescription. To address this issue, Harini developed The Comptometrist, a prototype designed to cut down the time needed to determine myopic power in a patient’s eyes. Harini’s prototype would eliminate crowding in clinics, report accurate measures of myopic power in seconds, and closes the window of error in the eye examination process.
A Potential Cure to Huntington's Disease
Krish Wadhwani
2018 Finalist
Meet Krish. Krish hopes to cure Huntington’s Disease through an injectable medication using Synthetic Antibody Mimics (SyAMs) to locate and attach to a specific protein found on the surface of cancer cells to ultimately eliminate Huntington’s disease.
A Driver's Companion - Using Brainwave and Eye Blinks to Detect Driver Drowsiness
Katherine Wu
2014 Finalist
Meet Katherine. Katherine’s invention uses brainwaves to proactively prevent drowsy driving. With her invention, Katherine hopes to inform people of the dangers of drowsy driving, so they can lead safer lives.

Katherine’s favorite invention from the last 100 years is the internet because it’s a network that has connected people across the globe and changed the world. “People share information, work, and communicate through the internet all the time now.”
Technology that is Optimizing and Controlling Aircraft Wing Shape and Efficiency In-Flight Through Novel Polymer Artificial Muscle Actuators
Leo Wylonis
2018 Finalist
Meet Leo. Leo hopes to reduce high altitude aircraft carbon emissions through his innovative design and use of polymer artificial muscles better known as PAM actuators.