14-year-old named top young scientist

Discovery Education and 3M have named Braeden Benedict from Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., winner of the 2011 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. Benedict, a 14-year-old student at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School was awarded the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist,” $25,000 and a trip from Discovery Student Adventures for his innovation in developing a low-cost impact detection device that can make it easier to spot harmful concussions in athletes. He competed alongside nine other finalists yesterday during a live competition at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn.

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 students are:

--Cheyenne Hua from Hunter College High School in New York, N.Y., received second place for her innovation that helps prevent flood damage to homes.
--Nolan Leonard from St. Luke’s Episcopal School in Mobile, Ala., received third place for his innovation that alerts drivers to upcoming pedestrian crosswalks, speed limit zones and other signs to help ensure safer driving.
--Caroline Boschetto from Villa Joseph Marie High School in Holland, Pa., received fourth place for her innovative device that captures renewable energy from the most unlikely of sources — wheelchairs and strollers.

For more information, visit www.YoungScientistChallenge.com.