Mason High School freshman Maanasa Mendu has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2017. The 14-year old scientist is the youngest person named to the list. Mendu was selected for the Energy Industry Sector, for her work creating HARVEST, a bio-inspired energy device that uses solar and wind power to capture energy in the form of wind, rain and sun – and converts it to power. Mendu was inspired to create the device after experiencing power outages during a family visit to India. She is currently working to commercialize her device.
Watch Mendu explain her project to the Mason City Schools Board of Education during its September 14 meeting after she won the 2016 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.
"I wanted to help mitigate the global energy crisis by creating a device utilizing piezoelectricity materials that are both eco-friendly and cost efficient," explained Mendu.
Previous Forbes 30 under 30 winners winners have included Mark Zuckerberg, Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel, SNL’s Kate McKinnon, Chance the Rapper, and YouTube phenom Michelle Phan. Since 2012, Forbes has been compiling the list, and this year’s competition was more intense than ever. According to Forbes, This year the competition was more extreme than ever: 15,000+ nominations for just 600 spots. That’s an under four percent acceptance rate; making it harder to get into than the nation’s two most selective colleges, Stanford University and Harvard University.