9th Grader's Plan to Generate Electricity from Vehicular Traffic Earns Her National Recognition

9th Grader's Plan to Generate Electricity from Vehicular Traffic Earns Her National Recognition
Posted on 07/07/2017

9th Grader's Plan to Generate Electricity from Vehicular Traffic Earns Her National RecognitionMason High School freshman Laalitya Acharya is one of 10 national finalists in the 2017 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. She hopes to change the world by using vehicular motion to generate and harness clean and affordable energy.

"On my family’s yearly trip to India, I saw children who have no power in their homes, huddling near dangerous fires. I wanted to change their position in life, to make it better by creating clean energy and electricity."

Watch her entry video to the Young Scientist Challenge. The Young Scientist Challenge is the nation's premier science competition for grades 5-8. First launched in 1999, the competition has the same mission even today: to foster a new generation of American scientists at an age when interest in science generally declines. The video entries are scored and ranked on creativity, scientific knowledge, persuasiveness and effective communication, and overall presentation. The ten highest scoring entrants are deemed finalists.

Her advice to peers? "Just be you and pave the way for change."

In fifteen years, Acharya hopes to be solving new challenges and saving lives. Her favorite invention of the last 100 years is the bypass surgery.

"Two years ago my uncle had a heart attack, it was so severe that he had to undergo an emergency bypass surgery. This bypass surgery saved his life, but before 1976, if you had a heart attack the chances of survival were slim. Now, thanks to modern medicine and bypass surgery invention by René Favaloro, survival rates have increased since before 1976."

Acharya follows in the footsteps of MHS sophomore Maanasa Mendu, who won the 2016 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, and then went on to be named to Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2017 for her work creating HARVEST, a bio-inspired energy device that uses solar and wind power to capture energy in the form of wind, rain and sun – and converts it to power.

Acharya will be honored by the Mason City Schools Board of Education during its August 8 meeting.

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