Viraj - Video for Improving Lives Award


The world is burdened with critical issues, and many still don't have concrete solutions. I learned that focussing on the issue that I was passionate about and then diving deep into it was essential, because it is then that I got fully aware about how so many animals and plants are being hunted down for personal greed and the rich biodiversity that our Earth exhibits is going through a steep decline. That is when I tried to come up with an innovative solution to solve it  using science as I strongly believe that a scientific approach can solve almost anything.


3M gave me an amazing opportunity to collaborate with my mentor, who is a senior scientist at 3M. He and I brainstormed and helped my idea grow - which finally improved my project tremendously. He also noticed things that were wrong and we eventually fixed them. 


I feel quite satisfied with the amount of work I put behind my project but if I could do something differently I wish that I had access to different types of acids that I needed to break down the organic matter to make GQDs. Maybe the results would be different but because these acids are quite dangerous I couldn’t get a hold of them. 


We are almost at the end of this journey and I am very excited for the final event where I will get to present my idea to the panel and explain everything that I have gathered in these past months.


Initially we 10 finalists were going to present our projects at the 3M headquarters where I would have gotten to meet my amazing 3M team but because of the Delta variant we cannot go. But I think even though the event is now virtual the 3M team is making sure we enjoy it as much!


Before I close a little about my project …. My project is important because it generates awareness for the conservation of Earth’s rich biodiversity, which is sadly on a path of steep decline. And once the species go extinct the loss is irreparable. My project brings attention to one of the main reasons why biodiversity is being jeopardized and attempts to solve it. Biodiversity is the foundation for a healthy planet and has a direct impact on all our lives. This unprecedented decline should be taken as a final warning.