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!
TraffEnerate: Generating Electricity from Vehicular Traffic
Laalitya Acharya
2017 Finalist
Meet Laalitya. Laalitya hopes to revolutionize energy in developing countries by using vehicular motion to generate and harness clean and affordable energy.
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.
Aquabot - An Arduino Based Robot for Testing and Monitoring Surface Water Quality
Meghna Behari
2016 Finalist
Meet Meghna. After learning how difficult it is to analyze the quality of hard to reach water sources, Meghna created a device to help access hard to reach waterways. Monitoring temperature, conductivity and pH levels, Meghna hopes to revolutionize the way scientists conduct research in the future.
A Novel Method for Oil Spill Cleanup Using Biomass
Anika Bhagavatula
2017 Finalist
Meet Anika. Anika hopes to find a natural sorbent which would be effective in replacing current environmentally damaging solutions to remedy oil spills, using pomegranate husk and orange peels.
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.
Archimedes Inspired Hydro-Powered Solar PV Azimuth Tracking Mechanism: Improving the Efficiency of Renewable Energy in Developing Nations
Austin Crouchley
2017 Finalist
Meet Austin. Austin hopes to improve the efficiency of renewable energy in developing nations using a unique low-cost solar tracker alternative.
Improving the Accuracy of Kicking a Soccer Ball Using Sensory Feedback
Amelia Day
2016 Finalist
Meet Amelia. To help the visual and hearing impaired along with the injured, Amelia's invention aims to improve accuracy of kicking a soccer ball using sensory feedback using a light and sound based system. Amelia hopes that her invention will help people's physical capabilities around the world both now and in the future.
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.
Remembering Alzheimer's: In silico study on plant alkaloid derivatives as inhibitors of 3 well known drug targets responsible for the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease
Rithvik Ganesh
2017 Finalist
Meet Rithvik. Rithvik's project deals with how specific plant components can be used to treat Alzheimer's disease.
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.
Laser Coach
Simone Jacobs
2017 Finalist
Meet Simone. Simone hopes to improve tennis skills all while keeping the public active and healthy by making tennis more accessible.
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.
Low Cost CPR Simluator
Mrinali Kesavadas
2016 Finalist
Meet Mrinali. Mrinali's low cost CPR simulator aims to help save lives in underdeveloped countries. The simulator is made of low cost materials, is portable and also has the capability to run a computer based program to provide instant feedback to the user to assure that they are performing CPR in the correct way.
Lawn Bot
Kathryn Lampo
2017 Finalist
Meet Kathryn. Her innovation, Lawn Bot, aims to reduce the amount of fresh water wasted during home lawn care.
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).
Nano-Cellulose Beads to End Stormwater Pollution
Sara Makboul
2016 Finalist
Meet Sara. Sara invented Nano Cellulose Beads to counteract stormwater pollution in an effort to improve the quality of water. Sara plans to create her invention by using the absorbent cellulose, which will be extracted from leaf remains. Combined with sodium polyacrylate and once dispersed on land, excess stormwater runoff can be absorbed to decrease the amount of pollution and improve water quality.
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.
Optimized Diesel Particulate Filter Design
Rohit Mital
2016 Finalist
Meet Rohit. Wanting to eliminate untimely deaths due to air pollution, Rohit invented a device to control pollution from diesel automobiles by optimizing particulate filters. Through researching filter cell designs, Rohit found that his invention not only has the capability to save 250 million gallons of fuel per year, but also reducing particulate matter and saving lives all around the world.
Video Analysis of Hand Tremor to aid in Telehealth
Sritej Padmanabhan
2022 Finalist
Hand tremor disorders are frequently misdiagnosed, due to a lack of accurate and reliable measurements outside of hospital lab settings. In addition, access to neurologists can be a challenge for rural populations. To address these challenges, Sritej created a Python code utilizing OpenCV and MediaPipe libraries to analyze computer vision measurements of hand movement from video capture. Based on his study, Sritej concluded that video analysis of hand tremors provides accurate and reliable measures and would potentially reduce tremor misdiagnosis, help remotely and effectively manage patient care, and aid in telehealth.
Semiconductor Battery
Will Paschal
2016 Finalist
Meet Will. Will wants to create an alternative method of storing electricity that is safer and more efficient then what is currently being offered. Will invented a semiconductor battery, and believes that creating an electric current between existing materials can power any electrical device imagined.
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.
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.
PBIF (Perception Based Interaction Framework)
Samu Shrestha
2017 Finalist
Meet Samu. Samu created a framework-based application that allows users to create custom-tailored forms of visual and verbal interaction between desktop and mobile devices.
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.
Make the Pill fit the Ill
Sofia Tomov
2016 Finalist
Meet Sofia. Sofia believes her invention can help limit negative side effects from prescription medications. By using fast computing methods to detect mutations that would cause a person to suffer from side effects of their medication, Sofia hopes she can help improve the health of humans all over the world through safer prescriptions.
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.
Mudricity - Making a More Efficient Microbial Fuel Cell for use in Developing Countries
Rohan Wagh
2016 Finalist
Meet Rohan. Wanting to eliminate energy poverty in underdeveloped countries, Rohan invented a new method to increase the efficiency of a microbial fuel cell. Rohan believes his invention, which is compact sized and low maintenance, can be distributed and used all around the world.
Bringing the Incentive Back to the Incentive Spirometer
Allie Weber
2017 Finalist
Meet Allie. Allie hopes to revolutionize the way people design medical equipment for children starting with the incentive spirometer.
SLIDEMAP Precision Digital Pathology in Cancer Using Deep Learning
Devin Willis
2017 Finalist
Meet Devin. Devin hopes his innovation SLIDEMAP can act as the pathologists in third world countries while in developed countries it can aid pathologists and help them make more accurate diagnosis.
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.
Bioplastics - Redefining Future
Kaien Yang
2016 Finalist
Meet Kaien. Kaien's invention focuses on creating a biodegradable plastic to help reduce pollution worldwide. Using a combination of natural biodegradable resources, Kaien believes his invention has the capability of solving the one of the world's most persistent problems.