Innovative Minds: Sanjay

Forest Heights STEM Academy | 6th grade grade | 13 years old

Detecting Microplastics in Tea Bags Using Nile Red Dye

About the Idea

As of 2020, tea is the second most consumed beverage in the United States; every day, 50% of the population drinks 2.16 billion cups of tea. Though the consumption of tea presents numerous health benefits, it also introduces the topic of microplastics entering and harming the human body.

Why did you enter the 3M Young Scientist Challenge?

I wanted to share my research that teabags from many of the major manufactures contain microplastics, and wanted to raise awareness to the consumers, while pleading the teabag manufacturers to improve the process and eliminate microplastics in consumables. I can share my research to my peers and learn from their research, while working with Young Scientist mentors who are specialists in their fields.

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

My favorite invention is the evolution of diagnostic tool kits, such as MRI and CT Scans, which are enabling our medical professionals to diagnose and treat issues in a very quick manner.

In 15 years I hope to be...

In 15 years, I hope to be a cardio-thoracic surgeon.

“Learning has no boundaries, and always learn with a purpose. Find joy in learning new things and always think about how to apply that towards solving a real world problem.”