Innovative Minds: Kyle Tianshi

The Cambridge School | 8th grade | 13 years old

A Portable Microscopic Particle Meter Using Image Processing and Laser Microscopy

About the Idea

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.

Why did you enter the 3M Young Scientist Challenge?

I believe that young people, with the right guidance, have the drive and passion to make a big impact on the world. After receiving a lot of positive feedback when presenting my invention to my local science fair, I was encouraged to further my research and develop my innovation. When I learned that I could have the opportunity to work with one of America’s top scientists through the 3M Young Scientist Challenge, I immediately wanted to apply so I could bring my project to the next level with mentorship from a 3M scientist.

What is your favorite invention of the last 100 years, and why?

One of the most underappreciated devices found everywhere in our lives is the laser. This invention is the core component in barcode scanners, a universal method of recognizing items. More powerful lasers are used in the engineering industry as an incredibly precise slicer that allows for far more complex pieces of metal to be manufactured. CDs and DVDs, compact disks that allow us to mass store data, require lasers to record and read information into binary. Our online communication would not be the same without the creation of fiber optics, devices which heavily rely on lasers to transmit signals over long distances. Finally, the laser is the integral element in my own invention, illuminating particles inside of water.

In 15 years I hope to be...

a book writer with four novels. When I grow up, I hope to be an inventor along with a science fiction writer.

Infinite problems, infinite solutions.