Megha Joshi

Megha Joshi is a scientist, inventor and South Salem High School student.

Megha Joshi is a scientist, inventor and South Salem High School student.

Remember the name Megha Joshi because this 15 year old is going to change the world.

The TEDxSalem speaker loves to discover new solutions, different ways to solve age-old problems. As a seventh grader, she designed a solar-powered water filtration system to help future victims of natural disasters.

“Water is all around them,” she said about victims of Hurricane Katrina, “but it’s dirty water. What if we came up with a filter that could clean water easily?”

Her design was one of the top 300 projects in a national science fair. Two other projects took top honors at statewide competitions since.

Her project “Save our Spines” answers the question of “why do teens have such bad posture?” One answer: It’s the desks. The one-size-fits-all desk doesn’t work for bodies that range from 5 foot to 6 foot or more. Her redesign of the student desk earned her a $2,000 scholarship to Oregon State University. She admits that schools aren’t likely to adopt the new desks because they cost more, but maybe someday.

In the meantime, she will keep coming up with solutions to problems that capture her imagination. Now she’s working with researchers at OHSU Knight Cancer Institute to identify the gene that makes some cells resistant to cancer treatment over time.

megha2In her free time, she loves to play the violin in the Salem Youth Symphony and South Salem High School’s Chamber Orchestra and Symphony.

What’s her advice to girls considering science?

“If you’re even thinking about it or you’re interested,” she said, “you should do it.”

Don’t be afraid of failing, Joshi said. She fails all the time, but she doesn’t give up.

“That’s what makes the end part 10 times better.”

Get your tickets for TEDxSalem IV

Tickets are on sale now for Salem’s annual TEDx event Saturday, January 7, 2017. Tickets are $50, $40 for students. The all-day event includes talks, performances, refreshments, lunch and a swag bag. Follow us on Facebook for the most up-to-date news from our community, and check our website regularly for new information. You can also reach us at