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Hello! My name is Mythri Ambatipudi, and I am from San Jose, California. What an eventful summer I am having so far! I recently returned from India where I was visiting my grandparents. India is a whole different country, almost like another world. But in a way, it was not so different because 3M's influence could be felt even there, from my grandfather's scotch tape to my grandmother's post it notes. While I was there, I received the thrilling news about being selected as a finalist. I couldn't believe it! Then, this Monday, I had a very engaging first phone conversation with my mentor, Dr. Ali. I was extremely impressed by Dr. Ali, and I am sure that we will enjoy working together on my new invention. I am grateful for being given this valuable opportunity, and I am looking forward to every minute of it.

On hot summer days, when I am finished with all my other work, I enjoy watching the Discovery Channel. The shows have exposed me to faraway lands and amazing discoveries and inventions. 3M, a company with such a tiny name, has also been of colossal help to me. 3M has been a crucial part of my journeys to various science fairs.  It has helped me build my display boards, meticulously arrange my research into neat binders, and make my presentations captivating. When I learned that these two great companies had teamed together to sponsor the Young Scientist Challenge, I immediately knew that this was an opportunity of a lifetime. I knew that the opportunities presented by 3M and Discovery Education would lead me towards future innovation and scientific success.

Making my entry video was a rather interesting process. My initial attempts were pathetic. The videos were rather dull, too formal, and in the end, did not match my personality. After making several failed attempts, I plucked myself out of my stressed circumstances and planted myself in the most serene place I know, my garden. I remade my video, this time incorporating the beauty of my garden. My video then truly reflected my personality, but it was still way too long. My new found appreciation for movie editors was the result of the many hours I toiled editing my own video. I now understand why there is a dedicated Oscar award for the movie editing category. Finally, I finished my video, and the effort was worth it. The entire process exposed me to some skills that I never knew that I had !!!!

Creating the entry video was far from being the most difficult part of the competition. Waiting to hear the results was in fact much harder. Initially, I nagged and pestered my parents, checked the Young Scientist Challenge website every few days, and refreshed my email every few minutes. But when I went to India, it slipped my mind amidst all the fun I was having with my grandmother. As a result, the surprise of finding out about the good news was even sweeter. When I woke up one fine morning, the email was just sitting in my inbox waiting to be opened. It was then that I realized that the best things in life happen when you least expect them.  My parents were as excited as I was and congratulated me profusely. After returning from India, I paid a visit to my wonderful science teacher, Mrs.Makhijani, who guided and supported me throughout middle school.  She was overjoyed to hear the good news.

I am eagerly looking forward to collaborating with Dr. Ali as I work through the next steps of the Young Scientist Challenge. I am very excited for the Final Event in October, and I am sure that I will have a great time. Thank you 3M and Discovery Education for making all of this possible!

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