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Hannah Herbst wins 2015 Discovery Challenge 2015 award.

Indian Teenagers Miss 2015 ‘America’s Top Young Scientist’ Award

The 2015 Discovery’s Award for ‘America’s Top Young Scientist’ has gone to a 15-year-old student Hannah Herbst for deveoping a prototype that provides stable power from ocean currents, though five Indian teenagers made it to the finalists. Last year, the award went to Sahil Doshi.

The 2015 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge had 5 Indian-origin students among the top 10 finalists who had presented their innovations at an event held between October 11 and 13 this year at St. Paul, Minnesota.

Finalists were judged on their scientific problem solving, innovation and ingenuity, and communication skills and Herbst earned the title America’s Top Young Scientist. She would get $25,000 and a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a destination such as Costa Rica.

“I love the way the Young Scientist Challenge encourages students to explore an idea scientifically, but also to grapple with the best way to communicate that idea and explain their findings,” said Cheryl Lykowski from Michigan.

Herbst, a ninth grader from Florida Atlantic University High School, said the idea for the innovation came when she was speaking to a nine-year-old friend who lives in Ethiopia in northwest Africa, where infrequent and unstable power supply poses a major challenge.

The 5 Indian-Americans include Raghav Ganesh, Krishna Shetty, Sanjana Shah, Iris Gupta and Amulya Garimella. Last year, Indian-American Sahil Doshi, a ninth grader from Pittsburg, had won the award for 2014 for his eco-friendly device to reduce carbon footprint while offering power for household usage.

Amulya Grimella,11, from Pittsburgh, is a 6th grader from Dorseyville Middle School and her project was to prevent distractions while trying to concentrate. Amulya invented a distraction monitoring system that alerts the user of distraction by measuring EEG brainwaves. When users get distracted, they will receive an alert reminding them to concentrate and get back to work. Amulya hopes that being distracted while doing homework or working will be a thing of the past!

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Iris Gupta, 12, from North Potomac, is a 6th grader from Robert Frost Middle School and she wanted to stop allergies at the source. She believes that by inhaling or injecting nanoparticles, allergens’ ability to attach to antibodies present in our bodies would be blocked as they entered our systems. Iris believes too many people suffer from allergies, and by testing to find the correct amount of nanoparticles optimal for blocking allergens, her invention aims to give them some much needed relief. Iris’ favorite invention in the last 100 years is the Internet, because it makes research and access to information quick and easy.

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Krishna Reddy,12, from Wichita Falls, is a 7th grader from Kirby World Academy and he sought to develop a breathalyzer for alcohol consumption that could detect more. Unhappy with the inability for breathalyzer to detect other substances, Krishna created a pupillary reflex computer program and apparatus that measures pupil dilation. Many drugs influence the uncontrollable movement of pupil dilation, and by detecting drugs through dilation, Krishna hopes many more preventable accidents can be stopped.

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Raghav Ganesh, 13, a 7th grader from San Jose school Joaquin Miller Middle School wanted to help those with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and their caregivers, Raghav’s invention predicts and prevents Autistic Meltdowns. Monitoring physiological and environmental factors that can cause and trigger stress, Raghav’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. Raghav hopes his invention can help many people in daily situations, catering to the Autistic population and their caregivers.

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Sanjana V. Shah,14,  from Cupertino, is an 8th grader from John F. Kennedy Middle School and her innovation for the event was about the impacts of heaving rainfalls in unprepared areas. Sanjana created a program to detect where cities may need more drains and where they may need to increase current drain pipe sizes. By using pipe network analysis modeled after city drain pipe maps, Sanjana can simulate heavy rainfall to see where possible flooding may occur. Sanjana’s favorite invention in the last 100 years is the Internet because it is a tool that allows for the searching, sharing and exchanging of information almost instantly. It can be used to connect globally, ranging from social media networks to aiding medical research across the world.

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