This past June, Eagle Scout and NESA Lifetime member Daniel Thomas (2021, Life) received word he is a finalist for the annual 3M Young Scientist Challenge and the title of America’s Top Young Scientist. The Young Scientist Challenge is the nation’s premier science competition inviting students in grades 5-8 to submit a 1-2 minute video describing a unique solution to an everyday problem.
Students were asked to submit an innovation that will improve “Lives for the Future” in six categories: health, safety, mobility, environment, energy consumption, or community. The video submissions received scores for creativity, scientific knowledge, persuasiveness and effective communication, and overall presentation. The videos with the ten highest scores were named finalists.
At the Final Event, October 17-18, Daniel and the other nine finalists will give a presentation based on their work and participate in a series of scored challenges to demonstrate their scientific knowledge. At the end of the competition, America’s Top Young Scientist will be awarded $25,000, with additional prizes going to the other finalist.
Mr. Thomas’ entry is titled A Novel Dosing Pump to Prevent Clogs and Organic Overgrowth In AC Condensate Lines. The problem and the solution he has developed are:
“Air conditioner condensate drain lines can clog every six to 12 months, costing millions in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) service calls and property damages. This issue can also cause severe health problems for the elderly and asthmatics due to organic overgrowths such as mold and Legionella bacteria. To address this issue, Daniel developed a solution using diluted chlorine to prevent overgrowth, a peristaltic pump, and an ESP8266 Wi-Fi programmer to time the dispensary of the chlorine. Daniel hopes his technique will produce fewer clogs and organic overgrowth in AC condensate lines, which will save homeowners and business money and reduce exposure to dangerous mold and bacteria.”Mr. Thomas’ entry | Young Scientist Lab
Daniel earned his Eagle Scout from Troop 1905 of the Longhorn Council in 2021. He is also a Lifetime member of the National Eagle Scout Association.