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!
An Approach to Detect Fruit Disease using Images
Laasya Acharya
2020 Finalist
Meet Laasya. Laasya developed a solution that will allow farmers to easily and effectively detect diseased and unhealthy crops to reduce food waste and loss during the harvesting phase.
SoleX Turf: Good for Your Sole, Good for Your Planet
Xavier Baquero-Iglesias
2020 Finalist
Meet Xavier. Xavier invented SoleX Turf, a highly renewable, nontoxic alternative energy source to replace current energy solutions that use non-renewable, toxic components.
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 Passion for Fashion and an Eye for Good Exercise
Reeny Botros
2013 Finalist
Meet Reeny. She has a passion for fashion as well as helping people. Couple that with her love of the challenge math and science bring and you get the makings of a fashion forward future doctor. Her Young Scientist Challenge entry illustrates how science can improve lives in many different ways – all while being a lot of fun in the process.
New Electrolyte Compound
Anish Chaluvadi
2013 Finalist
Meet Anish. He enjoys playing music to relax, but he also enjoys the thrill of overcoming a good challenge. That’s why he loves science and math. Science is one of the subjects he most enjoys because it’s hands-on and you get to experience it.
He aspires to be a biomedical engineer so he can make a career of overcoming tough challenges.
Improved Indoor Biomass Cook Stove
Daniel Culver
2013 Finalist
Meet Daniel. He believes that science improves the condition of the world. His innovative indoor biomass cook stove shows exactly how Daniel’s science acumen and inventive spirit could truly improve conditions for many people around the world for years to come.

In addition to improving the world through science, Daniel dreams of becoming an aerospace engineer or aviator so he can fly.
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.
Pegasus - Hybrid Vehicle Charging System
Tim DeMember
2013 Finalist
Meet Tim. An aspiring mechanical engineer, it’s no wonder he enjoys building, creating and just plain figuring out how things work. The inspiration for his Young Scientist Challenge invention came from watching an index card attached to a bicycle frame – proving that science really is everywhere! Be open and stay curious…your next innovative idea could be right in front of you.
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.
Publicly Available Databases Containing Biological Information
Katie Hudek
2013 Finalist
Meet Katie. When she’s not enjoying her many hobbies or excelling in her favorite subjects of science, math, and english, she is dreaming about being a surgeon so she can help people.

One look at her Young Scientist Challenge entry on Computational Biology and you’ll see why Katie will make a fine surgeon someday.
Neuroplasticity: Enabling Stroke Patients to Repair Motor Skills by Imitating Motion Between Hands
Rithvik Ijju
2020 Finalist
Meet Rithvik. Rithvik invented a novel robotic glove system designed to fast-track stroke rehabilitation of motor skills in the hands through neuroplasticity.
Camera Centering Tripod Mount
Srijay Kasturi
2013 Finalist
Meet Srijay. He understands the power of a good story and the fun of building things grounded in science. An aspiring filmmaker or computer science expert, Srijay’s interests blended perfectly with the 2013 Young Scientist Challenge. The skills he’s developed pursuing his hobbies served him well in creating his finalist winning video entry.
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.
Green Energy Electricity from Grass Waste
Edward Kim
2013 Finalist
Meet Edward. He dreams of one day becoming a neurosurgeon, to fulfill his duty to contribute to society by finding cures for problems to end people’s suffering. Neurology is still somewhat of a mystery and one Edward would love to help solve.

You can thank his 8th grade teacher for encouraging him to enter the Young Scientist Challenge to share his idea to make electricity from grass waste through a fuel cell system. Economical and eco-friendly, his fuel cell system may just become a viable alternative energy source one day.
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.
iCUpooch - an interactive care unit for dogs
Brooke Martin
2013 Finalist
Meet Brooke. With a Utility Patent Application pending for her invention iCUpooch, an interactive care unit for dogs and the subject of her video submission entry for the Young Scientist Challenge, it’s no wonder she is one of the 2013 finalists.

Brooke is determined to pursue a career in science. She would like to do something where she can help to improve the lives of others, whether it's by finding cures for diseases, innovating new technology, or helping to solve crimes.
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.
Modeling Gut Microbiome using 3D Microfluidics for Cancer Detection
Ekansh Mittal
2020 Finalist
Meet Ekansh. Ekansh developed a microfluidic device that mimics conditions of the gut microbiome to help test the relationship between bacteria and cancer, as well as new treatments against the disease-causing microorganisms and cancer cells.
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.
Honey Comb: An alternate approach to reduce indoor air pollution
Harsha Pillarisetti
2020 Finalist
Meet Harsha. Harsha identified an alternate, low-cost approach to reducing indoor air pollution using leaf-like structures inside the home.
Robotic Swarms: Intelligent Network of Robots Performing Cooperative Tasks
Samhita Pokkunuri
2020 Finalist
Meet Samhita. Samhita designed and programmed multiple robots to mimic swarm intelligence to be used to accomplish complex tasks and collect data and information in the aid of healthcare, agriculture, construction, security and military operations.
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.
BOREAS: The next evolution in Telemedicine
Samvrit Rao
2020 Finalist
Meet Samvrit. Samvrit developed BOREAS, an affordable telemedicine-based solution that accurately captures and relays breath sounds along with symptomatic data to physicians with use of a unified hardware-software app solution.
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. 
Steer Smart
Aishani Sil
2013 Finalist
Meet Aishani. She wants to be a scientist to contribute to future scientific discoveries that benefit mankind. And with her Young Scientist Challenge entry, she is already off to an impressive start.
She entered the Young Scientist Challenge to share her idea for Steer Smart, an application designed to reduce texting and driving, and hopes the application will motivate drivers to put away their phones, focus on the road ahead, and save thousands of lives in the process.
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.
A Portable Microscopic Particle Meter Using Image Processing and Laser Microscopy
Kyle Tianshi
2020 Finalist
Meet Kyle. Kyle designed a portable Total Suspended Solids (TSS) device that easily and clearly detects invisible particles in water to monitor water quality and contamination levels.
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.
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.
Muck-rete: Constructive Utilization of Indian River Lagoon Muck
Sophia Weiner
2020 Finalist
Meet Sophia. Sophia created Muck-rete, a constructive way to utilize muck found in water as an aggregate in concrete and eliminate the need for Muck-sites.
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.
Combating the COVID-19 Pandemic: In-Silico Molecular Docking Study of Spike Protein of SARS-CoV-2 virus to develop Novel Antiviral drug
Anika Chebrolu
2020 Winner
Meet Anika. Anika used in-silico methodology for drug discovery to find a molecule that can selectively bind to the Spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in an attempt to find a cure for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Enhancing Wind Power
Maanasa Mendu
2016 Winner
Meet Maanasa. Maanasa hopes her invention helps make wind power a globally applicable energy source. She created a device utilizing piezoelectricity materials that are both eco-friendly and cost efficient.
Salt Water Sandless Sandbag
Peyton Robertson
2013 Winner
Meet Peyton. America’s Top Young Scientist today, world renowned inventor tomorrow. Peyton’s invention of a more efficient sandbag to reduce salt water flood damage captured our judges’ attention. But it was his commanding delivery, innovative thinking, and sound grasp of the scientific method which captured him the title.

As America’s Top Young Scientist, it’s no wonder Peyton’s favorite subjects are science and math. He enjoys researching a problem or challenge and thinking through alternatives and creative solutions.