Mendu, a 13-year-old from Ohio, has finally cracked the code on making wind and solar energy affordable to all. She was awarded the grand prize in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her stupendous achievement in building extremely cheap “solar leaves” to create energy. She also took home $25,000 besides bagging the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.” The leaves, created for places in dire need of cost-effective power sources, cost just $5. Mendu was working with nine other finalists on the project over the last three months along with a mentor from 3M, Margauz Mitera.

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