13 year old ,Maanasa Mendu is an Indian American teenager from Mason Ohio who is winner at the 2016 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge held recently at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn.
She created HARVEST which is an energy device that uses wind and solar power to create energy, a bio-inspired project.It was named as the top prize winner and earned $25,000.She also received the title of America’s Top Young Scientist. Mendu, is a ninth grader from William Mason High School who competed against nine other finalists — five of whom were Indian Americans.
She created HARVEST based on her visit to India when she discovered many people lack basic life necessities such as clean water and lighting.Through her invention, she hopes to provide a globally applicable, cost-effective energy source.She could meet the competition’s parameter of creating a solution to improve lives around the globe by applying science to every day life .All the finalists also had an opportunity to work with 3M Scientists as mentor who assisted them to develop their personal inventions.
Each year this competitive challenge event empowers younger generation to apply their knowledge of science, critical-thinking and creativity to solve real-world issues. Since its inception in 2008, the winners have been awarded in dollars as student prizes.The winners also get featured in Forbes magazine’s annual “30 Under 30” list, get a chance to speak in Congress and at the United Nations, even meet the president of the United States and demonstrate inventions on national television programs.