A 13 year old Indo-American girl, Maanasa Mendu, has won the 2016 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge and got the title of ‘America’s Top Young Scientist’ and received an amount of $25,000 cash prize (Rs. 16 lakhs). In order to endorse her future activities and her talent, American Government has sanctioned this huge amount of cash prize to this little-talented girl.
This Science prodigy is a eighth grader student of William Mason High School in Mason, Ohio has won the award for her cost-effective device to generate electricity from wind power in an Eco-friendly way.
Last week she was announced the winner out of 9 other finalists of the Young Science Challenge, a national science competition for 5-8 graders.
Mendu got the idea of developing this technology when she visited rural India to her grandparents and observed a few villagers with no access of affordable energy or water.
She, then developed an innovative technology for generating energy from the leaves of solar light. The leaves produce power from rain, the wind, and the sun by means of a solar cell and piezoelectric material which eventually can be converted into modified forms as per individual requirements. The leaves work exactly like the solar plant which derives its power from nature. The device is designed with highly sophisticated and refined technology, yet in a more affordable manner, and costs only $5.
Mendu’s device shows real innovation. It is designed not just to solve a real world problem but to also be useful and adoptable where the problem occurs. As a finalist in the competition, Mendu took her device through four months of rigorous testing and refinement with the help of a mentor from 3M, senior product development engineer Margaux Mitera.
The second position of the competition was also earned by a Indian American boy Rohan Wagh from Portland.
Mendu wrote on her blogpost, “Along the way, I have learned so much about the process of innovation. Innovation is more than just a light bulb moment, it’s rather a continuous expansion very much like our universe.” She also added that the process of modernization is not only a moment of creating light bulb; instead it’s a continuous development very much like our cosmos.