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!
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.
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.
Finsen Headphones: Treating Mid-Ear Infections Using Machine Learning and Phototherapy
Leanne Fan
2022 Winner
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 
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.
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.
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.
The Automated Car Garden
Austin Ewing
2022 Honorable Mention
My project is a replica of an automated car garden. I used a Greenhouse Kit, BBC MicroBit and a Sphero-RVR rover. I programed the vehicle to travel to different colored squares, which would represent different zip codes in food desert communities. The vehicle would deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to these communities, minimizing food disparities.
Tracking Parkinson's Symptoms and Stages with HandPD Dataset in a Mobile App
Isha Joshi
2022 Honorable Mention
My project tracks and shows the progress of a Parkinson's patient in an app using the HandPD dataset with a VGG16 transfer learning model prototype.
Piezoelectric Roads
Delisha Manuel
2022 Honorable Mention
In this project, I studied the possibility of harvesting the mechanical force of the vehicles on the road as a form of clean energy. According to Newton’s Third Law, the vehicles move forward by pushing back on the road. If the road is fitted with equipment that can convert this mechanical force into electrical energy, then it will result in a form of abundant clean energy.

Piezoelectricity is a phenomenon that converts mechanical stress into electrical force. When some materials like quarts are subjected to mechanical stress, they exhibit an electrical polarity across their two ends. When this voltage difference is applied to a circuit, an electrical current flows through it.

I conducted experiments to measure the relationship between the mechanical force and the generated electrical voltage using a toy car and a piezoelectric tile. I varied the load on the car and its speed and measured the resulting force using a spring balance. I made the car run over the piezoelectric tile and measured the generated voltage using a multimeter.

From my experiments, I found that the greater the force applied on a piezoelectric tile, the more the voltage generated. This is very useful because speeding vehicles exert a great deal of force on the road. If piezoelectric materials are embedded under the road surface, they can generate a very large amount of electrical energy.

Therefore, this project helped discover a new source of clean energy.
Low carbon mat comprises packaging waste materials
Pratyush Sathish Kumar
2022 Honorable Mention
Using neglected cardboard boxes, I mixed cardboard with silicone to make a final rubber floor mat and heat insulating pad
Anvitha Addanki
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Massachusetts
Vesque Method - A Watering Method to Save Water
Aishwarya Agrawal
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Washington
Anusha Allamsetty
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Virginia
Arya Bairat
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Connecticut
Hannah Bazemore
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
New Hampshire
P.A.M. - Plant Assistance Machine
Toshan Bhattacharya
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Connecticut
William Briggs
2016 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Florida
Samantha Caron
2016 State Merit Winner
7th grade
North Carolina
Rushil Chander
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Texas
Rohan Datta
2016 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Georgia
Empowering Communities to Monitor Local Watersheds for Rapid Response
Shriyadita De
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Maryland
Illuminations
Sara DeVolld
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Alaska
PERCEY (Personal Emotional Robot for Connecting and Educating Youth)
Silas Erwin
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Iowa
Olivia Garner
2016 State Merit Winner
7th grade
South Carolina
A Dog’s Advanced Prosthetic Leg
elizabeth Gill
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Pennsylvania
William Grzelak
2016 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Ohio
Hunter Hong
2016 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Washington
Eco-Solution: The Earthly Journey into Improving Earth's Water Sources
Salamat Ibrahim
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
New York
Detecting Microplastics in Tea Bags Using Nile Red Dye
Sanjay Iyer
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Arkansas
Arjun Jain
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Oregon
VertiMoss
Sahit Jayaweera
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Oregon
Vijay Josephs
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
New Jersey
Sharvil Kaware
2016 State Merit Winner
5th grade
Nebraska
ALEXANDER KNOLL
2016 State Merit Winner
5th grade
Idaho
Kathryn Lampo
2016 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Colorado
Fish flakes from plastic
Lam Le
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
North Dakota
Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Significantly Increasing the Efficiency of Vehicles using Recycled Energy
Sonia Leo
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
New Jersey
Prion Scanner
Asa Limmer
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Wyoming
Rhea Malhotra
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Pennsylvania
Creating a Healthier Human Society
Catherine Manley
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Tennessee
Mood Melodies
Henry Martin
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Wisconsin
Gavin Miller
2016 State Merit Winner
Michigan
UMT
Nosrat Montaha
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Oklahoma
Suppress that Algae: Mitigating the Effects of Harmful Algal Blooms through Preemptive Detection and Suppression
Sharanya Natarajan
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Florida
NOMADS Nutrient Optimized Mangrove Drop Sheath for Aerial Reforestation
Luka Nguyen
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Nevada
DAG: A Low Cost, Natural, Water Resistant Fire Retardant
Rohith Nuthakki
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Indiana
Smart Adjustable Prosthetics
Ryan Park
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
California
Energenius CEGO (Clean Energy on the Go): A Green Way to Power Batteries on the Go
Vikram Raju
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Colorado
Gitanjali Rao
2016 State Merit Winner
5th grade
Tennessee
Quinn Robinson
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Illinois
Emma Rollins
2016 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Delaware
Alexandra Rosenthal
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Alabama
A Flexible Biodegradable Non-Hormonal Nano-Fiber Intrauterine Contraceptive Device
Varuni Saranu
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Texas
The EXPLORER System - The new and fun way to exercise for differently-abled individuals.
Viraj Shah
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
North Carolina
100% Biodegradable Plastics!!! Is it true? Year 2
Shagun Shrivastava
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Minnesota
Smart Trash Can
Iraj Shroff
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Arizona
Sujay Swain
2016 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Maryland
Hear Me Out - Hyper-personalized Speech Recognition and Synthesis for the Speech Impaired
Kaavya Tatavarty
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Ohio
Nifty Nanogenerators! - Electricity Generation Using Triboelectricity
Kriesh Tivare
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Virginia
Kaushik Tota
2016 State Merit Winner
7th grade
California
Microcontroller-Driven Remote HVAC Monitoring System for a Greener Planet
Maya Trutschl
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Louisiana
Democratizing CO2 Capture - A Means to Address Climate Crisis
Vivek Varanasi
2022 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Massachusetts
Olivia Wagner
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Kentucky
Clara Wayne
2016 State Merit Winner
6th grade
Wisconsin
Converting Sound into Electricity
Katherine Webb
2022 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Georgia
Clean Coal Energy System
Parker Welsh
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Kansas
Camille Will
2016 State Merit Winner
8th grade
Minnesota
Origami-Based Disaster-Relief Deployable Shelters
James Yu
2022 State Merit Winner
7th grade
Illinois
Leo Yu
2016 State Merit Winner
5th grade
New York