Six of the top ten spots in the 2023 3M Young Scientist Challenge have gone to Indian Americans with Shripriya Kalbhavi of San Jose, California, winning the second place for her invention.
Kalbhavi, a 9th grader at Lynbrook High School, received a $2,000 prize for developing EasyBZ, a cost-effective microneedle patch that allows for self-automated drug delivery without pills or needles.
The top prize of $25,000 with the prestigious title of “America’s Top Young Scientist,” went to Heman Bekele of Annandale, Virginia, for his compound-based Skin Cancer Treating Soap (SCTS).
In a blog on the 3M Young Scientist Challenge website, Kalbhavi says she entered the 3M Young Scientist Challenge because she wants to help change lives.
“Scientific research and innovations have always interested me, and I find the scientists, especially doctors, all around me to be extremely inspiring because they work to help people every day,” she wrote.
The young woman hosts a podcast called “Famous Personalities,” and as part of the theme of her show, she researches women scientists and speaks about their lives, achievements, and research.
“I want to gain experience and advice from a mentor to help improve people’s lives with my invention, BZ reaction-automated microneedle patches, by making their medication painless and more affordable, so that is why I entered the 3M Young Scientist Challenge.”
In 15 years, she hopes to fulfill her dream of becoming a practicing neurosurgeon, she said in the blog. “I have always felt a calling towards contributing to my community in the field of medicine, especially when it comes to neuroscience and women’s health, and I would love the opportunity to perform precise work as a neurosurgeon.”
READ: 13 of top 30 kids in Young Scientist Challenge are Indian Americans (November 16, 2019)
Five other Indian American teens were also among the top ten. They each receive a $1,000 prize and a $500 gift card.
These exceptional students are:
- Anisha Dhoot from Portland, Ore., a 9th grader at Westview High School in Beaverton School District;
- Ishaan Iyer from Rancho Cucamonga, California, a 6th grader at Day Creek Intermediate School in Etiwanda School District;
- Anish Kosaraju from Saratoga, California, a 9th grader at The Harker School in Campbell Union School District;
- Adhip Maitra from Oviedo, Fla., a 9th grader at Oviedo High School in Seminole County School District; and
- Shruti Sivaraman from Austin, Texas, an 8th grader at Canyon Vista Middle School in Round Rock Independent School District
“The need for scientists and innovators to develop solutions for the world’s biggest challenges has never been greater. This year’s Young Scientist Challenge finalists have demonstrated the skills required to reimagine what’s possible—intelligence, curiosity, collaboration, and resilience,” said John Banovetz, 3M executive vice president, chief technology officer and environmental responsibility.
“Over the past 16 years, we’ve had the honor of enabling innovative students to turn their ideas into world-changing solutions through the 3M Young Scientist Challenge,” said Amy Nakamoto, executive vice president of social impact at Discovery Education. “Their work is a rare and impressive accomplishment, and we congratulate each and every one of them.”
America’s Top Young Scientists have gone on to give TED Talks, file patents, found nonprofits, make the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, and exhibit at the White House Science Fair.
These young innovators have also been named TIME Magazine’s first Kid of the Year, featured in The New York Times Magazine, Forbes, and Business Insider, and have appeared on national television programs such as Good Morning America, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and more.