Deepika Kurup Named ‘America’s Top Young Scientist’ in 2012 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge

2012 DE3MYSC Winner Deepika Kurup (Second from Left) with Discovery Education's Lori McFarling, 3M's XXXX and Science's Danny Forster
2012 DE3MYSC Winner Deepika Kurup with Representatives from Discovery Education and 3M and Science’s Danny Forster

This week, some of the best and brightest students from across the country gathered at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minnesota to showcase their scientific smarts and compete for the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.” The competition was the culmination of a three-month collaboration with 3M scientists as they created their personal innovations as a part of a summer mentoring program — going from concept to prototype — with the goal of solving an everyday problem.

Earlier today, Discovery Education and 3M announced the results, as 14-year-old Deepika Kurup from Nashua, New Hampshire was named the winner of the 2012 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her innovative, cost effective and sustainable water-purification system. Her prototype, which harnesses solar energy to disinfect contaminated water, can help improve the lives of the 1.1 billion people around the world who lack access to clean drinking water. Kurup and nine other finalists shared their completed innovations with a panel of judges, including Danny Forster of Science‘s Build it Bigger.

The remaining finalists also received a variety of prizes from Discovery Education and 3M. The second, third and fourth place winners each received a $1,000 cash prize and a trip from Discovery Student Adventures to Costa Rica. Congratulations to:

  • Carolyn Jons , Eden Prairie High School in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, second place
  • Anin Sayana, Bellarmine College Preparatory in Cupertino, California, third place
  • Anishaa Sivakumar, Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pennsylvannia, fourth place
  • Aidan Dwyer, Northport High School in Northport, New York
  • Naren Gaurav, Meadow Park Summa Middle School in Beaverton, Oregon
  • Brandon Gong , Garden City Middle School in Garden City, New York
  • Chase Lewis, homeschooled in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Gabriel Mesa, Canton Intermediate School in Canton, Connecticut
  • Patrick Shea, Routt Catholic High School in Jacksonville, Illinois

For more information on the 2012 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge and to learn more about this year’s finalists, please visit