Indian Americans Sweep 2nd, 3rd, 4th Places at 3M Young Scientist Challenge

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Indian Americans Sweep 2nd, 3rd, 4th Places at 3M Young Scientist Challenge

Posted: Thursday, October 15, 2015 12:30 pm | Updated: 12:35 pm, Thu Oct 15, 2015.

Indian Americans were well represented at theDiscovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, and despite none taking the grand prize, three of the five finished right behind the winner, in results released Oct. 13.

Raghav Ganesh, 13, of San Jose, Calif., took second place. The eighth grader took the award for his innovation that helps monitor physiological and environmental factors that can trigger stress in autistic people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. He teamed up with 3M scientist Kris Thunhorst.

Amulya Garimella, 11, of Pittsburgh, finished third. The seventh grader won for her distraction-monitoring prototype that alerts the user experiencing a distraction by measuring EEG brainwaves. She teamed up with 3M scientist Cordell Hardy.

Iris Gupta, 12, of North Potomac, Md., took fourth place. Teaming up with 3M scientist Raha Been, the seventh grader won for her project that seeks to stop allergies at the source through inhaling or injecting nanoparticles that block allergy-triggering particles.

To help those with Autism and their caregivers, Raghav Ganesh’s invention predicts and prevents Autistic meltdowns. Ganesh’s wireless and wearable machine alerts the wearer and caregiver when any stressors rise above a certain threshold. His invention allows care to be tailored to individuals’ needs by recording all sensory data and therapeutic responses.

With a love for both filmmaking and science, Garimella’s goal of preventing distractions while trying to concentrate resulted in her developing a distraction monitoring system that alerts the distracted individual and reminds them to concentrate and get back to work.

Gupta, who believes too many people suffer from allergies, said her invention aims to give them much needed relief. Incidentally, the youngster said her favorite invention in the last 100 years is the Internet, because it makes research and access to information quick and easy.

Ganesh, Garimella and Gupta each received a $1,000 prize and a student adventure trip for finishing in their respective places.

Two other Indian Americans also placed in the top 10 at the Young Scientist Challenge: Krishna Reddy took ninth place, while Sanjana Shah placed 10th for her project.

Working with 3M scientist Margaux Mitera, eighth grader Reddy, 13, of Wichita Falls, Texas, worked on a pupillary reflex computer program and apparatus that measures pupil dilation to detect substances other than alcohol.

Shah, of Cupertino, Calif., worked with 3M scientist Mary Caruso Dailey on her project. The 13-year-old ninth grader created a program to detect where cities may need more drains and where they may need to increase current drain pipe sizes.

Reddy and Shah each received a $1,000 prize and a $500 gift card from Discovery Experiences for their placing.

The 10 finalists spent the better part of three months working with their 3M scientist mentor to make their project a reality and presented them to a panel of judges during the Young Scientist Challenge event Oct. 13 at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn.

Also during the final competition, the finalists competed in two separate challenges, including combining multiple 3M technologies to yield new solutions and build a simple machine using science and engineering principles.

The winner of the competition was 15-year-old Hannah Herbst, of Boca Raton, Fla. Herbst won by creating an energy probe prototype that seeks to offer a stable power source to developing countries by using untapped energy from ocean currents. Her prize was $25,000 and the title of America’s Top Young Scientist.

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