When Victor Acuna was in middle school, he built a low-cost irrigation system that used sensors, timers, and notifications to help keep the soil moist. He was just 12 years old.
Victor entered his irrigation system in a national science competition, where even the judges couldn’t believe that a person so young could build something so sophisticated. They disqualified him on the grounds of plagiarism.
For some people, this experience would have been enough to make them walk away. Not Victor. “The judges didn’t believe me. They said my work was too complex for someone my age. And it pushed me to do more—to show them that, hey, I actually can do this.”