Meet Alumni:

Shanza Sami

2022 Young Scientist Challenge Finalist

Since participating in the 3M Young Scientist Challenge, Shanza has continued to work on her innovation, Pura Aurem. She has begun additional scientific pursuits, and has an interest in journalism.

What have you been up to since participating in the 3M Young Scientist Challenge?!

I have continued cultivating my passion for STEM through entering other research and academic science competitions. I presented at the State-wide Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS), earning 1st place and getting the opportunity to orally present my research at the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (NJSHS) in Virginia Beach, VA. I also participated in my regional and state science fairs, earning numerous titles and special awards, including being 1st place in Physical Sciences, 1st place in Environmental Sciences, 1st place in the Physical Sciences Oral SEMINAR Presentation, and being declared the Grand Champion in my state. I was given the opportunity to share my research as a finalist in the 2023 Regeneron ISEF competition in Dallas, Texas. Additionally, I have participated in business pitches for my product, being selected as a finalist for the Jacobson Institute Innovator Competition.

Are you involved in any school teams or clubs, if so which ones?

I am involved in my school orchestra, where I play the violin, in addition to playing the piano outside of school. Aside from music, I enjoy participating in Science Olympiad, Speech and Debate, Student Government, Technology Student Association, and the Cadenza Music Club. I am also involved in my school publication, the West Side Story, where I write articles as a reporter.

Did you continue working on your 3M YSC innovation? If yes, how far did you take your research and/or are you still working it, and do you have any progress updates that you can share (publication, patent, inspiration for another's work, etc)?

With regards to research, I continued enhancing my progress on my 3MYSC innovation, Pura Aerem, through conducting more tests on a wider range of gas-powered vehicles, while also gathering SEM images of the filtration material to correlate structural integrity and filtration efficiency to the structure of the filters. Additionally, I conducted Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) simulations on GeoDict software by inputting properties of the filtration layers to determine any limitations with backpressure or filtration efficiency, while further optimizing the properties of the layers. I have also filed for a provisional patent to protect my intellectual property.

You’ve stayed in contact with your 3M mentor, Patrick Zimmerman. Anything you’d like to share about your experience working with a 3M mentor and staying in touch with your mentor after the Challenge?

I have continued to foster a great relationship with my 3M mentor, Dr. Zimmerman, since the 3MYSC. Aside from us giving life updates through text messages, Dr. Zimmerman visited me in Iowa City this summer, to receive updates on my life and research pursuits. Dr. Zimmerman has continued to provide amazing advice even beyond the 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

What advice do you have for a student who is considering entering the 3M Young Scientist Challenge? How would you say 3MYSC has impacted your life?

The 3MYSC was an amazing experience – a research competition that exposed me to a network of like-minded, curious, and intellectual peers who offered a plethora of knowledge in numerous disciplines. I found that the 3MYSC was an extremely valuable experience to develop effective research skills, troubleshoot to overcome obstacles, and create new connections. To any students considering entering the 3M Young Scientist Challenge – take the leap and create that two-minute video! The 3MYSC experience is most definitely worth it.

“To any students considering entering the 3M Young Scientist Challenge – take the leap and create that two-minute video! The 3MYSC experience is most definitely worth it.”

Shanza Sami

2022 Finalist