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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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. 
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The Temp Tracker
Srihita Adabala
2017 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Tennessee
Super Scrubber: revolutionizing filter
Ella Agran
2017 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Vermont
Vesque Method - A Watering Method to Save Water
Aishwarya Agrawal
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Washington
H-V Wind Transformer
Adheesh Ankolekar
2017 State Merit Winner
8th grade
New York
A Novel, Inexpensive Inhibitor for Bromelain: The Effect of Various Mushrooms as Inhibitors of Bromelain's Proteolytic Activity on Milk Proteins and its Cytotoxic Effects on Prostate Cancer Cells.
Perisa Ashar
2017 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Virginia
Water Matters
Sohil Bhatia
2019 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Washington
P.A.M. - Plant Assistance Machine
Toshan Bhattacharya
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Connecticut
Hypoglycemic Effect of M. charantia and P. communis on Type 2 Diabetes
Pratiksha Bhattacharyya
2017 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Illinois
Wildfires early detection device- Fire Owl
Maitry Brahmbhatt
2019 State Merit Winner
6th grade
New York
Plastic Water Bottle Insulation Construction Block
Emily Carter
2017 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Nevada
Disinfecting Feces with MESS (Methyl carbamate Eliminating bacteria by Systematic Sterilization )
Aaron Chin
2019 State Merit Winner
8th grade
California
Magnet Motor, Van de Graff Generator hybrid
Logan. Cottrell.
2017 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Arkansas
Empowering Communities to Monitor Local Watersheds for Rapid Response
Shriyadita De
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Maryland
Metal Straw Cleaning Device
Olivia Deering
2019 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Colorado
Dysgraphia Glove
Asher Demo
2017 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Kansas
Illuminations
Sara DeVolld
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Alaska
P.O.P. - Promote Our Pollinators
Anna DeVolld
2019 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Alaska
Auto-Lock Trigger System
Emilia Dobek
2019 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Illinois
PERCEY (Personal Emotional Robot for Connecting and Educating Youth)
Silas Erwin
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Iowa
Students & Teachers Offered Protection (STOP)
Fatima Falah
2019 State Merit Winner
6th grade
South Carolina
Evergreen for Money
Leonardo Ferraro
2019 State Merit Winner
5th grade
Florida
Paper Fueled Stove
Matthew Gilbert
2017 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Maine
A Dog’s Advanced Prosthetic Leg
elizabeth Gill
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Pennsylvania
Recycler Robot
Kelly Gorman
2017 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Rhode Island
Investigating the molecular interaction of Alzheimer's,Schizophrenia and Bipolar
Arjun Gupta
2017 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Arizona
Automated spice rack
Melissa Hannemann
2017 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Kentucky
Eco-Solution: The Earthly Journey into Improving Earth's Water Sources
Salamat Ibrahim
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
New York
Detecting Microplastics in Tea Bags Using Nile Red Dye
Sanjay Iyer
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Arkansas
VertiMoss
Sahit Jayaweera
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Oregon
Save Our Teen Drivers
Amogh Kashyap
2019 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Maryland
Charge!
Henry Keo
2017 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Minnesota
Fish flakes from plastic
Lam Le
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
North Dakota
Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Significantly Increasing the Efficiency of Vehicles using Recycled Energy
Sonia Leo
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
New Jersey
Prion Scanner
Asa Limmer
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Wyoming
Proposed therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
Kevin Lorenz
2017 State Merit Winner
7th grade
North Carolina
Creating a Healthier Human Society
Catherine Manley
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Tennessee
Mood Melodies
Henry Martin
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Wisconsin
Dye-sensitized Photovoltaic Cells
Megan McCarty
2017 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Wisconsin
Making Clean Water A Global Reality
Pooja Menon
2019 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Pennsylvania
The Winter Plant POD
Gavin Miller
2017 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Michigan
Approaches to Identify Novel Combinations of Natural Medicine to Treat Bacterial Infections
Ekansh Mittal
2019 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Oregon
UMT
Nosrat Montaha
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Oklahoma
Suppress that Algae: Mitigating the Effects of Harmful Algal Blooms through Preemptive Detection and Suppression
Sharanya Natarajan
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Florida
NOMADS Nutrient Optimized Mangrove Drop Sheath for Aerial Reforestation
Luka Nguyen
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Nevada
Fire Fighting Helicopter
Gavin Norman
2017 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Utah
DAG: A Low Cost, Natural, Water Resistant Fire Retardant
Rohith Nuthakki
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Indiana
SMART Pee-H Monitor
Ujjayi Pamidigantam
2017 State Merit Winner
8th grade
New Jersey
Smart Adjustable Prosthetics
Ryan Park
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
California
Smart Apparel: A Low-Cost Form of Smart Clothing for Better Patient Monitoring in Hospitals
Samhita Pokkunuri
2019 State Merit Winner
6th grade
New Jersey
Rice Plasticity
Jacqueline Prawira
2017 State Merit Winner
7th grade
California
Epinephrine Phone Case
Parker Rabinowitz
2017 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Alaska
Microbot Injector: Helping patients with Alzheimer's disease
Udbhav Raghukanth
2017 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Ohio
Energenius CEGO (Clean Energy on the Go): A Green Way to Power Batteries on the Go
Vikram Raju
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Colorado
Just Soapz
Samvrit Rao
2019 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Virginia
Sensory Box
Emma Rollins
2017 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Delaware
CardioStrip: Early Detection of Heart Disease Using Nanoparticles
Vinod Ruppa-Kasani
2019 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Georgia
A Solution to Help Decrease CO2 in Our Atmosphere
Timothy Ryer
2019 State Merit Winner
6th grade
New Mexico
Utilizing the Magnetic Properties of Plasma to Enhance Nuclear Fusion Reactors
Megan Santamore
2017 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Maryland
A Flexible Biodegradable Non-Hormonal Nano-Fiber Intrauterine Contraceptive Device
Varuni Saranu
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Texas
DriveAlive: A Microcontroller Based Distracted Driving Monitor
Adithya Sastry
2019 State Merit Winner
5th grade
Tennessee
The EXPLORER System - The new and fun way to exercise for differently-abled individuals.
Viraj Shah
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
North Carolina
The Smoke Shield: Respirator Designed for Infants
Viraj Shah
2019 State Merit Winner
7th grade
North Carolina
Combining Solar and Wind Energy for Efficiency
Rishabh Sharma
2017 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Oregon
ZeoSheets: A Natural Way For Plants To Grow In Greenhouses
Priya Shokeen
2017 State Merit Winner
8th grade
New Hampshire
100% Biodegradable Plastics!!! Is it true? Year 2
Shagun Shrivastava
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Minnesota
Smart Trash Can
Iraj Shroff
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Arizona
Early detection of Amblyopia
Darius Sinha
2017 State Merit Winner
5th grade
Massachusetts
Fall Guardian Mat System
Cassandra Smith
2017 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Indiana
Constant ThermalCool Jacket
Lucie Song
2017 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Missouri
What is a viable way to conduce neutralized water on a pH spectrum?
Stefani Stanic
2017 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Florida
The Circle of Life
Brianna Strong
2017 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Alabama
Hear Me Out - Hyper-personalized Speech Recognition and Synthesis for the Speech Impaired
Kaavya Tatavarty
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Ohio
Solving Flint's Water Crisis
Armin Teizer
2017 State Merit Winner
5th grade
Texas
Saving Paper With Fading Ink
Shomik Telang
2017 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Pennsylvania
Microfiber Filter
J.R. Tibbetts
2019 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Maine
Nifty Nanogenerators! - Electricity Generation Using Triboelectricity
Kriesh Tivare
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Virginia
Microcontroller-Driven Remote HVAC Monitoring System for a Greener Planet
Maya Trutschl
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Louisiana
Electrolysis based breathing apparatus
Marcus Tsuei
2017 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Colorado
Electrical Mineral Accretion in Coral Reefs
Naya Valdivieso-Wooldridge
2017 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Georgia
Democratizing CO2 Capture - A Means to Address Climate Crisis
Vivek Varanasi
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Massachusetts
Safe Ride
Preethika Vemula
2019 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Massachusetts
Converting Sound into Electricity
Katherine Webb
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Georgia
Clean Coal Energy System
Parker Welsh
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Kansas
PCB – Plastic Composting Bin
Caleb Wilson
2019 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Texas
Origami-Based Disaster-Relief Deployable Shelters
James Yu
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Illinois
Mosquito Trap
Teja Zeribi
2017 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Washington