Way to go: Brandon Gong, Garden City
Brandon Gong of Garden City has cemented his status as a young scientist.
The seventh-grader at Garden City Middle School was one of 10 national finalists last month in Discovery Education 3M's Young Scientist Challenge 2012, a science competition in which students were asked to submit a two-minute video describing a creative solution to an everyday problem.
Brandon's project described an "acupoint stimulator." He described it as an electrode-implanted silicone membrane the size of a quarter. The device could stimulate acupuncture points on the body and reduce chronic pain without a need for medicines and painkillers, he said.
"It's easy to use and painless; it can be used anywhere and at any time," Brandon, 12, said of the stimulator. "It's certainly a suitable replacement for drugs and painkillers and would be able to help millions of people suffering from chronic pain."
As a finalist, Brandon received $1,000, a medal and a trip to the finals in Minnesota, where he vied last month for the $25,000 grand prize. There, he gave a five-minute presentation about his project to a panel of judges and engaged in two on-the-spot science challenges.
Brandon is a member of his school's Science Olympiad, Science Club and Math Club.