Yesterday, the Discovery Education Network announced the winner of the title “America’s Top Young Scientist” of 2016 and a scholarship worth $25,000 to the bated breath of the nation after three days of scientific challenges during the grand finale in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The winner is Maanasa Mendu, a 13-year-old Indian American girl from Mason, Ohio. She won the Young Scientist Challenge 2016 for her cost-effective device to generate electricity from wind power in an eco-friendly way. This eight-grade student of William Mason High School gave the Indian American community another reason for celebration this Diwali.
Maanasa Mendu ideated a solution on learning that America gets only 4% of its total energy from wind power. She developed the solution into a biocompatible device after her return from a trip to India where she discovered the lack of basic needs such as electricity and clean water in the everyday lives of many people to her utter surprise. (Watch a video of her invention below)
This is what inspired her to participate in the competition, keep faith in her invention and become the top young scientist of America. She named the device Harvest since it is built to harness solar and wind power to provide cost-effective energy. The invention is aligned with the challenge of applying science and technology to make everyday life more convenient for communities across the globe.
13-year-old Indian American Maanasa Mendu gave a demonstration of her critical thinking, logical creativity and the application of science behind her energy-sourcing device to a panel of scientists and leaders including Bill Goodwyn, the President and CEO of Discovery Education. She left other nine finalists of the 3M Young Scientist Challenge 2016 in the competition.
Among the remaining nine finalists, Rohan Wagh from Portland stood second in the competition for his low-maintenance device to create energy by increasing the natural metabolism of bacteria in underdeveloped countries. The fifth position went to Meghna Behari from Pennsylvania for her innovative device to reach waterways which are not easy to access.
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