Discovery Education and 3M Recruit America’s Next Top Young Scientist in Annual Middle School Competition

11th Annual ‘Young Scientist Challenge’ Opens for Submissions from America’s Young Scientists

Silver Spring, Maryland (Thursday, January 11, 2018) – 3M (@3M), a leader in Materials Science, and Discovery Education (@DiscoveryEd), the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms across the country, today announced the opening of the annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. The Young Scientist Challenge is the nation’s premier science competition for middle school students. Through the program, aspiring young innovators and scientists have the unique opportunity to work with a 3M scientist mentor, be named America’s Top Young Scientist and take home a $25,000 prize.

The Young Scientist Challenge encourages fifth through eighth grade students to use their scientific insight to create solutions to everyday problems in their local, national or global communities. Last year’s winner, 11-year old Gitanjali Rao, was awarded the challenge’s grand prize for her prototype of Tethys, a sensor-based device designed to detect lead in water faster than current techniques.

“The Young Scientist Challenge is a great opportunity for any middle school student to apply their interest in science to creating an innovation that helps improve the lives of others,” said Rao. “Being paired with a 3M scientist as my mentor was especially helpful when I was stuck on a problem or needed to talk through an idea.”

Middle school students are invited to submit their own entries to this year’s challenge by creating a one-to-two-minute video that explains the science behind their idea, and how it can improve lives by solving an everyday problem. Submissions will be judged based on creativity, scientific knowledge, persuasiveness and overall presentation. Ten finalists will then be selected to participate in a one-of-a-kind summer mentorship program with 3M scientists’ and eventually go on to compete for the title of America’s Top Young Scientist, including an October 2018 trip to 3M’s World Headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota.

All video entries must be submitted online at no later than April 19, 2018. Videos will not be judged on production skills and may be recorded on cell phones or basic digital cameras.

“These brilliant, hardworking students combine a sense of wonder about the world around them with the absolute belief that they can make it a better place,” said Paul Keel, senior vice president of Business Development and Marketing-Sales at 3M. “It’s our privilege at 3M to work with them as they grow as scientists and bring that potential to life.”

Launched in 2016, Young Scientist Lab is an interactive portal for scientific exploration and home to the award-winning Young Scientist Challenge. It is a one-stop STEM destination for educators, students and parents, offering engaging K-8 activities, lesson plans and interactive teaching tools to stimulate budding scientists. Students can also find inspiration on how innovation can solve problems across industries – including manufacturing, energy, safety, healthcare, transportation and more. The Young Scientist Lab also provides users with recent science news, Virtual Field Trips and new blogs about the Young Scientist Challenge.

“Discovery Education is proud to support 3M and their work to ignite students' creativity and support the wonder of the next generation of scientists," said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “The Young Scientist Challenge has inspired thousands of innovators, dreamers and doers to solve real-world problems and demonstrates the real power of science to improve the lives of everyone, everywhere, every day."

Since its inception, the Young Scientist Challenge has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships and prizes, paired students with exceptional scientists, and provided science resources to millions of students, teachers and families across the country. In 2017, six girls and four boys were chosen as the top 10 finalists.

“As educators, we are always striving to enrich students with the skills they need to solve problems facing their family, local or global community,” said Francie Snyder, Manatee County elementary school educator. “The Young Scientist Challenge not only stimulates scientific exploration but also gives young people an opportunity to bring their imagined concepts come to life.”

For more information on the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, including submission guidelines, tips from previous winners and complete rules, please visit Stay connected with Discovery Education on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @DiscoveryEd.


About 3M
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $32 billion in sales, our 90,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M's creative solutions to the world's problems at, or on Twitter @3M or @3MNewsroom.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education's services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at