Old Bridge student will compete for chance to be named America’s Top Young Scientist


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3M and Discovery Education announced Samhita Pokkunuri, a student at Carl Sandburg Middle School in Old Bridge, as one of 10 finalists of the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

The competition recognizes students in grades 5-8, who use scientific thinking to create an innovation that will improve lives both in their local communities, and globally.

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Samhita will compete against nine other finalists for a grand prize of $25,000 and the title of America’s Top Young Scientist, according to information provided by Ketchum.

Samhita designed and programmed multiple robots to mimic swarm intelligence to be used to accomplish complex tasks and collect data and information in the aid of healthcare, agriculture, construction, security and military operations. Earlier this year, students like Samhita submitted short video entries online that demonstrated their creativity and passion for science, according to the statement.

Throughout a summer mentorship program, Samhita will partner with a 3M scientist to turn her concept into a reality. On Oct. 12-13, Samhita and the other finalists will compete during a virtual final event.

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