Reflecting on my Amazing Summer Mentorship!

By Shripriya Kalbhavi | August 18, 2023

Hello everyone, and welcome back to the Young Scientist Blog! My name is Shripriya Kalbhavi, and I am one of the top ten finalists of this year’s 3M Young Scientist Challenge from San Jose, California. This summer has been one of the most exciting summers ever, and I have loved every single minute of working on my project. Since this is my final blog post of the summer, I really appreciate the opportunity to reflect on what I’ve done this summer and to thank everyone for joining me on my scientific journey! I am more than excited to get started!

Learning about the 3M Young Scientist Challenge and entering my project allowed me to begin to put together an idea that I had been thinking about for a while — the EasyBZ microneedle patch. But the summer mentorship is what really has allowed me to take my project to the next level. With the advice and help of my mentor, Dr. PJ Flanigan, as well as all of the 3M materials that have helped me put together my prototypes, I have been able to level up my project in terms of design, efficiency, results, chemistry, and more. With the help of a 3M scientist, I feel like my project has an even greater potential to help so many people.

Over the summer, Dr. Flanigan and I have been virtually calling to discuss the steps that I am taking to make my project a reality. I share my progress, and Dr. Flanigan gives me tips and advice based on what I decide to move forward with. She also sends me packages with different 3M materials as well for me to experiment with and try to incorporate into my prototype! I have made a lot of progress, including developing a physical prototype, contacting laboratories to do chemistry at, creating setups to measure the data that my prototype generates, along with much more!

Having a summer mentorship with a 3M scientist has meant a lot to me. I am really passionate about making sure that everyone is comfortable with the medical treatment that they are receiving, and I really want people to have long-term solutions to their chronic conditions. With the EasyBZ microneedle patch, I have always hoped that people can receive painless treatment that accommodates their medicals needs, whether it be children who have diabetes or adults who suffer from forms of dementia like Alzheimer’s. With my family members’ experiences in this issue, I feel like I am helping to do justice to those who have suffered from these issues for a long time and make life a little bit better for them.

On that note, I wanted to thank a few people for making this summer and my mentorship the best one of my life. The first is the 3M and Discovery Education team. Without you, I would not be here, working to change the lives of people all over the world. I also want to thank my mentor, Dr. Flanigan! Her help and positive outlook has really helped me see problems in science differently, not just as problems, but as gateways to great, new things. I want to thank all of the viewers of my blog posts, especially my friends and family, for being amazing support throughout this challenge! If you’re reading/watching this, you are all so awesome! Last but not least, I wanted to thank my family, especially my mom, dad, and my sister, for rearranging their schedules and helping me with getting all of the materials I need (and let me tell you, this was a lot!) and for being there for me. So thank you to everyone, and I hope that you stay tuned for the Final Event in October!

Thanks for joining me on this adventure! I’m already learning a lot about myself in this scientific journey, and I hope you enjoy learning about me too! That is it for this time, so see you soon, back here at the 3M Young Scientist Challenge. This is Shripriya, signing off. Have a fantastic day!