Student Wins America's Top Young Scientist Award

Discovery Education and 3M today awarded Marina Dimitrov of Bozeman, Mont. the title of "America's Top Young Scientist." She won the 2009 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

Dimitrov was one of 10 finalists who competed today in a series of live science challenges at Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. A student of Sacajawea Middle School, she will receive $50,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds ($25,000 cash value) and a trip to 3M's global headquarters to meet with some of the world's best scientists.

As the grand prize winner, Dimitrov is the recipient of the 3M "Innovation Prize," for which she will visit 3M's global headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., and learn about technology platforms like microreplication, nanotechnology, advanced materials and processing. 3M's world class Innovation Center will introduce her to talented scientists who will share insights about their careers, centered around innovation.

Selected from hundreds of students across the country, the finalists tackled live challenges focused on "The Science of Everyday Life," and used their science prowess to: 1) invent a solution to a common problem using only household items; 2) remove impurities from water; 3) restore an historic icon; and 4) build a tower that can withstand a simulated earthquake. Finalists were evaluated by a panel of judges on their science skills and ability to communicate scientific knowledge. Head judge Steve Jacobs, an accomplished scientist, educator and author, joined a team of scientists from across the country to form the judging panel.

Nico Seamons from Socorro, N.M., and Nikita Gaurav from Beaverton, Ore., tied as first runners-up in the nation's premier science competition.

The following students rounded out the top 10 finalists (in alphabetical order):

- Nate Bloom from Denver, Colo. (currently of Hamilton Middle School)
- Devin Dwyer from Northport, N.Y. (currently of Northport High School)
- Hugh Finch from Burrillville, R.I. (currently home-schooled)
- Emily Grover from Lehi, Utah (currently of Lehi Junior High School)
- Nicholas LaJoie from Van Buren, Maine (currently of Van Buren Middle School)
- Jason Liu from Hockessin, Del. (currently of Charter School of Wilmington)
- Claire Sheen from Mountain Top, Pa. (currently of MMI Preparatory School)

Coinciding with the announcement of this year's winner, Discovery Education and 3M are beginning the search for the 2010 "America's Top Young Scientist." For more information on the 2009 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, or to register for the 2010 challenge, go to