Mason High School freshman Maanasa Mendu is a top 10
national finalist for the 2016 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist
Challenge. Mendu was one of those top 10 highest scoring entrants who qualified
for the finals that will be held in St. Paul, Minnesota from Oct. 16-19.
According to the website, the annual premier competition
recognizes scientific thinking and imagination in students grades 5-8 who dream
up a solution to an everyday problem that ultimately could reshape the way we
live our lives.
After submitting a short video communicating the science
behind a possible solution to an everyday problem, these young scientists rose
to the top of the competition and were selected over hundreds of others, due to
their science acumen, innovative thinking and exceptional communication skills
demonstrated in their entry videos. The finalists ̶ six
girls and four boys, ranging in age from 12-14
̶ include those from public,
private and home schools, from locations all across the nation.
Mendu hopes her invention helps make wind power a globally
applicable energy source. For her entry video, she created a device utilizing
piezoelectricity materials that are both eco-friendly and cost efficient.
“After learning that wind power only produces 4% of
America's energy, I entered the Young
Scientist Challenge to help turn an idea into a reality. I believe my
invention has the capability to provide electricity to the world in an
environmentally friendly way,” shared Mendu.
Mendu had the opportunity to work one-on-one with 3M
Scientist and mentor Margaux Mitera, who is a senior product development
engineer in 3M’s Stationery and Office Supplies Division. Her work focuses on
developing Post-it® Note products designed to help consumers turn their
thoughts into actions and ideas into reality.
The Young Scientist Challenge began in 1999 with a goal to
foster a new generation of American scientists at an age when interest in
science generally declines. Discovery Education partnered with 3M – one of the
world’s most notable innovators – in 2008 and has given students the
opportunity to work directly with and learn from 3M scientists.