South Washington County Schools

Woodbury Middle School student named state merit winner at national science competition

Photo of Sooryabala Sundravel Balamurugan

Sooryabala Sundravel Balamurugan, who recently finished 8th grade at Woodbury Middle School, was named the state merit winner for Minnesota in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. He was chosen as one of 34 state merit winners nationwide for developing an innovative solution to an everyday problem that could ultimately improve lives.

For the contest, students were asked to create a short video describing an innovative solution to a problem that directly affects them, their families, their communities or the global population. Balamurugan submitted a “Synthesis of SIlver Nanoparticles” innovation proposal, which addresses the challenge of infectious bacteria and puts forth a solution to kill bacteria with the help of herbs. Judges said his work rose to the top of the competition out of hundreds of submissions due to his passion for science, spirit of innovation, ingenuity and effective communication skills demonstrated in his entry video.

Balamurugan will receive special recognition on the challenge website, youngscientistlab.com/challenge, and a technology prize pack. The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge has produced 10 winners and 90 finalists who have gone on to give TED Talks, file patents, found nonprofits, make the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange and compete in the White House Science Fair.