A sensor to help emergency vehicles measure the speed and depth of flood waters. A microorganism that can decompose BPA. A hydrogel injection that can help patients heal after a heart attack.
The students behind these innovative concepts were among those selected to receive the CTY Cogito Research Award, a prize given annually to middle and high school students from around the world who demonstrate initiative, creativity, and promise in their STEM research-project proposals. The 10 winning individuals and/or teams will each receive a $599 grant and guidance from a mentor to develop their ideas. Winners will submit a final report on the results of their research later this year. 
This year’s awards were funded by the Thakor Family Fund, which was established by CTY parent and donor Nitish V. Thakor and his family. 
A CTY judging panel selected the winning proposals from more than 250 student applications based on overall quality and promise to achieve compelling research results.
The student researchers will use the funds to purchase equipment, rent lab space, or pay for other project-related needs. They will blog about their progress on the CTY website.
The 2016 CTY Cogito Research Awards winners are:
Jessika Baral, 16, Fremont, Calif.
Anthony Clendenen, 15, Graham, Wash.
Benjamin Cheng, 13, Foster City, Calif.
Megha Gopal, 13, New Hyde Park, N.Y.
Bridgette Han, 15, Palo Alto, Calif.
Isha Mohapatra, 15, Easton, Pa.
Anika Sanyal, 14, Los Altos, Calif.
Alexandra So, 15, Los Angeles, Calif.
Team winners:
Victoria Chen, 14, West Covina, Calif.; Laura Xinyu Chen, 16, Pasadena, Calif.; and Evina Wang, 15, San Gabriel, Calif.
Katherine Duan, 13, and Alexander Kish, 13, Hanover, N.H.