Girl, 14, is America's Top Young Scientist: Her Solar-Powered Jug Cleans Water

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Science winning teen-2012-3MvideoA 14-year-old New York student was named “America’s Top Young Scientist” for inventing a solar-powered water jug that changes dirty water into purified drinking water.

Deepika Kurup not only surpassed 9 finalists with her science and math skills to win $25,000 from Discovery Education and 3M, she persuaded the judges with a dynamic five-minute LIVE presentation about the plight of a billion poor people who have no access to clean drinking water.

The cost effective and sustainable water-purification system, which harnesses solar energy to disinfect contaminated water uses her own innovative process designed to overcome current problems with portable purification. Her process can kill many types of bacteria in a fraction of the time of other methods.

Kurup, a ninth grader at Nashua High School, won the prize last week following a live competition at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn.

During the past three months, Kurup and the other finalists had the exclusive opportunity to work directly with a 3M scientist as they created their personal innovations as part of a summer mentorship program. The 3M Scientists provided guidance to the finalists as they developed their ideas from a theoretical concept into an actual prototype that would help solve a problem in everyday life.

The second, third and fourth place winners each received a $1,000 cash prize and a trip from Discovery Student Adventures to Costa Rica. These extraordinary students are:

  • Carolyn Jons, from Eden Prairie High School in Eden Prairie, Minn., received second place for her innovative packaging method that inhibits mold growth and helps keep food fresh longer.
  • Anin Sayana from Bellarmine College Preparatory in Cupertino, Calif., received third place for his innovation that selectively targets chemotherapy-resistant cancer stem cells.
  • Anishaa Sivakumar from Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pa., received fourth place for her innovation that would help treat patients suffering from macular degeneration.

The six other finalists each received a $1,000 cash prize.

WATCH Deepika's winning presentation below...

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