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Georgia merit winner in 3M national Young Scientist Challenge

Compiled/partly written by Suzanne Sen and Poornima Narayanan Email Compiled/partly written by Suzanne Sen and Poornima Narayanan
October 2019
Georgia merit winner in 3M national Young Scientist Challenge


Vinod Ruppa-Kasani (left), an 8th grader from Taylor Road Middle School, Johns Creek, Georgia, is among 20 students selected as 3M Young Scientist Challenge 2019 State Merit Winners.

3M and Discovery Education June 25 announced the 10 finalists in its annual 3M Young Scientist Challenge, with half of the field comprising Indian American students.

“The ‘3M Young Scientist Challenge’ supports young innovators who have demonstrated a passion for science, the perseverance to see their creative discoveries unfold, and a desire to improve the world around us,” said Denise Rutherford, senior vice president of corporate affairs at 3M. “We are excited to recognize this new generation of scientists as part of 3M’s ongoing commitment to STEM-equity and science advocacy for all students. We are really energized to play a part in shaping the next generation of change makers who will lead and mold our future.”

The nation’s premier middle school science competition recognizes scientific thinking, communication, and curiosity in students grades 5-8 who demonstrate a passion for solving everyday problems that could ultimately improve lives around the world, according to a joint 3M and Discovery Education news release.

After submitting a short video communicating the science behind a possible innovation to solve an everyday problem, these young scientists rose to the top of the competition and were selected over hundreds of others, because of their science acumen, innovative thinking, and exceptional communication skills demonstrated, the release said.

The top 10 3M Young Scientist Challenge finalists – five boys and five girls, ranging in ages from 9-14 – include those from public and private schools across the nation.

Each finalist will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a 3M scientist during a mentorship program, where they will be challenged to bring their innovative concept to life, the release said.

Students will meet virtually with their mentors, who will provide guidance to help them move their innovation from concept to prototype – allowing for a complete experience in the scientific process, it said.

All 10 finalists will receive $1,000 and a trip to 3M’s Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn., where they will participate in the final competition Oct. 28 through Oct. 29.

They will be evaluated on a series of challenges, including a presentation of their completed innovation. Each challenge will be scored independently by a panel of judges.

The grand prize winner will receive $25,000, a unique destination trip and the title of America’s Top Young Scientist, it said.

In addition to the finalists, 3M and Discovery Education recognized 20 young individuals as this year’s 3M Young Scientist Challenge State Merit Winners.

More than half of the winners were Indian Americans. Among the group ​are Vinod Ruppa-Kasani of Georgia; Amogh Kashyap of Maryland; Preethika Vemula of Massachusetts; Samhita Pokkunuri of New Jersey; Aarjav Brahmbhatt of New York; Riya Shah of North Carolina; Ekansh Mittal of Oregon; Pooja Menon of Pennsylvania; Adithya Sastry of Tennessee; Samvrit Rao of Virginia; and Sohil Bhatia of Washington.

These budding young scientists were chosen as a result of their passion for science, spirit of innovation, and effective communications skills. Each State Merit Winner will receive special recognition on the challenge website, along with a technology prize pack, it said.

Vinod has several other honors to his credit. He received first place in Fulton County Regional Science and Engineering Fair in the Material Science division. He was awarded the 'Most Outstanding Exhibit' in Material Science by ASM Materials Education Foundation. He was a founding member of the Science Olympiad team in his school. Additionally, Vinod is a Star Scout in Troop 69. Vinod is keenly involved volunteering activities and has received The President's Volunteer Service Award-GOLD for his service to the community.

Vinod’s idea for the 3M project is for a cardio-strip using nanoparticles, that could help in early detection of heart disease.

"#3MYSC Submission CardioStrip Early Detection of Heart Disease Using Nanoparticles"

3M has sponsored the 3M Young Scientist Challenge for more than a decade, and the program has produced 11 brilliant winners and more than 100 finalists, some of whom have gone on to give TED Talks, file patents, found nonprofits, make the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange and exhibit at the White House Science Fair. These young innovators have been featured in Good Morning America, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The New York Times Magazine, Forbes, Business Insider, and more.

“3M’s leadership in applying science and innovation to make a real impact in the lives of communities across the globe is inspiring, and Discovery Education is proud to partner with the ‘3M Young Scientist Challenge’ to ignite a spark of STEM curiosity and wonder in kids,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Discovery Education. “Together, we hope to demonstrate for students that STEM can change the world.”

3M Young Scientist Challenge materials are available at youngscientistlab.com.

Submitting your news item for consideration in Newsmakers

Please send news items for consideration in the Newsmakers section to CommunityNewsmakers@khabar.com. Publication of news is based on several criteria including the volume of reports submitted for a given issue. We are focusing on local community members with some achievement or award that will be interesting and/or inspiring to our readers.

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