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3M and Discovery Education Announce Opening of 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge

Pre-teen girl recording an interesting chemical experiment and mixing chemicals, pouring a pink one into the water
(Image credit: Thinkstock/Zinkevych)

3M and Discovery Education today announced the opening of the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge, which recruits students in grades 5-8 to compete for a mentorship with a 3M scientist, the $25,000 grand prize and the title of America's Top Young Scientist. Competition entries are accepted at www.YoungScientistLab.com until the April 21, 2020 deadline. 

Each year, the program recognizes 10 finalists and up to 50 state merit winners nationwide who have demonstrated a passion for solving everyday problems. Previous challenge finalists have collaborated with 3M scientists to create solutions to a wide variety of real-world problems, including water conservation, noise pollution, energy consumption and public transportation efficiency. Last year’s winner, 14-year old Kara Fan, invented a first aid liquid bandage to reduce antibiotic overuse.

Students are invited to create a one to two-minute video communicating the science behind an idea aimed at solving a problem that affects them, their school, family or community. Videos will not be judged on production skills and may be recorded on cell phones or basic digital cameras. Entries will be evaluated based on their creativity, scientific knowledge, and effective communication skills. 

In June 2020, ten finalists will be chosen to participate in a summer mentorship program, where they will work closely with and learn from a 3M scientist. Each finalist will also receive a trip to the 3M Innovation Center at the company’s headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., to compete at the final event in October 2020.  

3M Young Scientist Challenge learning resources, including classroom interactives and family activities, are available at no cost at YoungScientistLab.com.