Five Indian American teens were among the 10 finalists.
15-year-old Hannah Herbst from Boca Raton, Florida, has been selected as the winner of the 2015 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.
A ninth grader from Florida Atlantic University High School, Herbst competed alongside nine other middle school finalists during a live competition at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn.
She was awarded the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist” as well as a $25,000 cash prize.
“We congratulate Hannah Herbst and the rest of this year’s finalists for their innovation and the inspiration they provide middle school students everywhere”, said Bill Goodwyn, president and CEO, Discovery Education.
Herbst received the award for her creation, an energy probe prototype that seeks to offer a stable power source to developing countries by using untapped energy from ocean currents. This innovation was inspired by Herbst’s desire to help her 9-year-old pen pal living in Ethiopia who lacks a reliable source of power and electricity.
Herbst was paired with Jeffrey Emslander, a 3M corporate scientist whose research and patents have helped 3M reduce emissions to the environment and use less energy in the making of products.
Each of the students collaborated with some of 3M’s top scientists, who provided guidance as they worked through the scientific method to advance their ideas from a theoretical concept into an actual prototype. Together, the mentors and finalists shared their passion for science, reviewed the scientific process and worked virtually through pre-assigned objectives, with resources and support provided by Discovery Education and 3M.
The 10 finalists included five Indian American students – Raghav Ganesh, Krishna Shetty, Sanjana Shah, Iris Gupta and Amulya Garimella.
The remaining nine finalists also received a variety of prizes from Discovery Education and 3M. The second, third and fourth place winners each received a $1,000 prize and a student adventure trip to a destination such as Costa Rica.
Last year, an Indian American named Sahil Doshi had won the competition for his design of an eco-friendly device.