Virginia student named finalist for ‘America’s top young scientist’

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. - A Glen Allen student is being recognized as one of the best young scientists in the country.

Cameron Sharma, an 8th grade student at Moody Middle School, is one of 10 finalists in the 2018 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

“I was really surprised. This is the first time I had entered. I just learned about it and I wasn’t really expecting to make it. But I did,” said Cameron.

The competition challenges students to use scientific thinking to create an innovation that will improve lives locally or globally, CBS 6 reported.

Cameron, who was featured on CBS 6’s Building Better Minds Series, created uFlu, an app that uses an algorithm that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify personalized flu vaccines.

“So, what this app does is it takes the patient's vaccine history and the current antibodies in their blood, it looks at it and see what antibodies, what vaccine does that person need in order to have the most effect against the current strains," said Cameron.

By being named a finalist, the 14-year-old has won $1,000 and a trip in October to the 3M Headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota to present his innovation in front of a panel of judges.

If Cameron wins first place he'll win $25,000 and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”

Cameron says the competition is an opportunity of a lifetime and he’s very excited to present his ideas with the hope of personalizing flu vaccines one day.