Every year ‘America’s Top Young Scientist’ award (Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge) is given to young budding talents and they are judged on their ability to solve scientific problems, innovative and original ideas and skills of communication. As we have often seen in the recent past, Indians are shining with their scientific aptitude here as well.
Last year this competition was won by an Indian-American Sahil Doshi, who was a ninth grader from Pittsburg. He was chosen the winner on the basis of his eco-friendly tool with innovative designs that can offer power for normal household use at the same time keeping the carbon footprint down.
This year there is no Indian-American champion and the winner are Hannah Herbst, a 15 year old US girl, who invented a prototype that may help in generating energy from ocean currents particularly in developing countries and can pose as a stable source of power. The idea came in her mind when she was having a conversation with a nine-year-old Ethiopian friend from northwest Africa, where frequent power disruption is common problem and offering stable power supply to the citizens poses a major challenge.
But, this year there is five Indian-American among the 10 finalists in the competition!!! They are Raghav Ganesh, Krishna Shetty, Sanjana Shah, Iris Gupta and Amulya Garimella.
This prestigious award includes prize money of $25,000 and a student adventure trip to exciting location such as Costa Rica.
We Indians will remember the comments from Narayana Murthy, the IT Guru from Infosys that no invention and earthshaking ideas came from India in the last 60 years and the Indians though having the intellect have not done impactful research work. But, these types of achievements from India-American students suggest that they are willing to carry on impactful research and even their Indian parents are providing full support. It is our education system and lack of social and economic security that prompting young minds to drift away from impactful research towards so called routine jobs.