Devin - The Next Step

Devin Willis checking in!  I am 14 years old and attend the Florida Atlantic University A.D. Henderson School in Boca Raton, Florida. I entered the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge at the suggestion of my science teacher and a fellow student. I did my best on the video submission but knew the competition was stiff, but here I am a finalist! Please follow me on this exciting adventure and I will hopefully inspire you to apply to this competition next year.

My invention has been on my mind for the past couple of years and I now have a basic model and some great ideas to put into motion. After two great phone conversations with my 3M Mentor, John Henderson, we came up with some ideas for improvements. John seemed very familiar with my project and excited to provide guidance and positive support. During this summer mentorship program I have decided to redesign my invention, SLIDEMAP, to increase the speed of scanning and decrease the size significantly, allowing it to be more modular.  With the decreased size and added modularity I will be able to use SLIDEMAP for purposes other than tumor slide diagnosis, such as laser microdissection to increase accuracy of gene sequencing.  I just returned from a two-week family trip and have not yet been able to work on the new design but I plan to use a high-quality 3D printer along with a linear rod system and a stepper motor which will allow me to create an xyz table with any form factor needed.

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My next step is to print this prototype and verify that I had the correct dimensions. Then with the help of my mentor John, I want to use 3M’s machine shop to create an even higher quality version. My mentor and I have also discussed alternatives, in case this design does not work.

Signing off,
                          Devin Willis