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!
Airflow Control Robot
Jaya Choudhary
2019 Finalist
Meet Jaya. Jaya engineered an Airflow Control Robot designed to help reduce energy consumption in the home by eliminating the use of heat in unoccupied rooms.
Magnetic Train Travel
Caroline Crouchley
2019 Finalist
Meet Caroline. Caroline developed a sustainable method of public transportation that eliminates the need for a diesel engine or electric motor in trains.
Solar Energy System and Natural Fibonacci Sequence
Aidan Dwyer
2012 Finalist
Aidan is a member of Boy Scouts, Band, and Art Club. He also enjoys sailing, track, and golf.
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.
Naren Gaurav
2012 Finalist
Naren participates in Lego Robotics and Science Bowl. He is also learning to speak Mandarin and plays the piano, basketball and chess.
Brandon Gong
2012 Finalist
Brandon is a member of Science Olympiad, Science Club, and Math Club. He also plays the clarinet, piano, and the oboe.
Hydroponic Carbon Solution
Yosef Granillo
2019 Finalist
Meet Yosef. Yosef developed a solution to mitigate earth’s rising temperatures by planting hydroponic trees in the ocean.
Oxygen Absorber Bag to Prolong the Shelf-life of Food
Carolyn Jons
2012 Finalist
Carolyn is a member of school orchestra and chamber orchestra. She also enjoys playing soccer and tennis and unicycling.
Forest Fire Prevention
Reshma Kosaraju
2019 Finalist
Meet Reshma. Reshma created a predictive model using machine learning and neural networks to predict and prevent the instances of forest fires.
Carbon Capture
Nishant Lahiri
2019 Finalist
Meet Nishant. Nishant developed iCART, a new approach to carbon capture that extracts carbon dioxide from the air and recycles it into natural volcanic rock.
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).
Travois with Wheels Helps Parents Carry Children Across the African Desert
Chase Lewis
2012 Finalist
Chase is a member of 4H Club, Math Club, and Boy Scouts. He also enjoys competing in science fairs.
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.
Gabriel Mesa
2012 Finalist
Gabriel enjoys playing the saxophone and soccer.
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.
Wind Turbine Efficiencies
Jordan Prawira
2019 Finalist
Meet Jordan. Jordan Prawira invented a wind turbine inspired by hurricane formation concepts to improve the performance and efficiency of current wind turbines.
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. 
A Novel Configuration of Carbon Nanotubes
Anin Sayana
2012 Finalist
Anin is a member of Science Olympiad and Math Club. He also enjoys playing the piano, basketball and tennis.
Water Conservation
Camellia Sharma
2019 Finalist
Meet Camellia. Camellia developed a water leakage detection system to identify underground water leakage and reduce the water lost annually through current distribution systems worldwide.
Can Summoning a Pharmacist Reduce OTC Drug Errors
Patrick Shea
2012 Finalist
Patrick participates in Science Fairs and competes in basketball, hockey, baseball, golf, and track.
Infection Monitoring
Samyak Shrimali
2019 Finalist
Meet Samyak. Samyak designed a sensor-based system to track hand hygiene compliance in hospitals to reduce the fatality rate associated with nosocomial infections.
Eco-friendly Clay to Save Coral
Anishaa Sivakumar
2012 Finalist
Anishaa is a member of Science Club, Math Club, and Science Olympiad. She also enjoys singing, dancing, Taekwondo, and tennis.
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.
TalkMotion: A Talking Device
Faraz Tamboli
2019 Finalist
Meet Faraz. Faraz invented TalkMotion, a talking device for deaf and aphonic children, that turns a sign language gesture into verbal language, or verbal language into sign language gestures.
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.
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