Skip to content


3M and Discovery Education Announce State Merit Winners in the 2021 3M Young Scientist Challenge

3M YSC SMW PressRelease 1200x800 1

SILVER SPRING, Md. & ST. PAUL, Minn. (Wednesday, June 23, 2021) – 3M and Discovery Education today announced 30 State Merit Winners in the 2021 3M Young Scientist Challenge. As the nation’s premier middle school science competition, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge features outstanding innovations from young scientists that utilize the power of STEM to improve the world.

The 3M Young Scientist Challenge asks students in grades 5-8 to identify an everyday problem in their community or the world and submit a one- to two-minute video communicating the science behind their solution. An esteemed and diverse group of judges, including 3M scientists and leaders in education from across the country, evaluated entries based on creativity, scientific knowledge, and communication effectiveness.

“The 3M Young Scientist Challenge demonstrates the transformative power of young minds to address global challenges by combining their unique and diverse perspectives on innovation, creativity, and a passion for a better world,” said Denise Rutherford, senior vice president and chief corporate affairs officer, 3M. “This year’s state merit winners prove the efficacy of STEM thinking. We are proud of this year’s competitors and remain committed to building greater STEM-equity that unlocks the power of people, ideas and science and imagines what’s possible.”

The 3M Young Scientist Challenge recognizes this year’s 30 State Merit Winners, which were selected for their passion for STEM, innovation, and superb communication skills. Each State Merit Winner receives special recognition on the challenge website, along with a special technology prize pack.

The 2021 3M Young Scientist Challenge State Merit Winners are listed below in alphabetical order by state:

[Alabama] Sophia Al-Halaseh, Fort Payne Middle School, Fort Payne City School District

[Arizona] Prisha Shroff, Accelerated Middle School, Chandler Unified School District

[California] Connor Chin, Ocean Grove Charter School, Private

[Connecticut] Xander Shavers, Beecher Road School, Woodbridge School District

[Florida] Noah Richardson, Oakstead Elementary School, Pasco County School District

[Georgia] Christina Jordan, Centennial Academy, Atlanta Public School District

[Iowa] Kalyani Bhat, Prairie Ridge Middle School, Ankeny Community School District

[Illinois] Aarushi Tiwari, Aptakisic Junior High School, Aptakisic-Tripp School District 102

[Indiana] Rohan Bhosale, Carmel Middle School, Carmel Clay School District

[Kentucky] Karthika Hariprasad, Jessie M Clark Middle School, Fayette County Public School District

[Louisiana] Maya Trutschl, Caddo Middle Magnet School, Caddo Parish Public School District

[Massachusetts] Amy Sun, Raymond J Grey Jr High School, Acton-Boxborough Regional School District

[Maryland] Annika Balaji, Takoma Park Middle School, Montgomery County School District

[Michigan] Shreyas Ikare, Novi Meadows Elementary School, Novi Community School District

[Minnesota] Nithila Meganathan, Prairie View Elementary School, Eden Prairie Independent School District 272

[North Carolina] Prithu Kolar, Davis Drive Middle School, Wake County Public School Northwestern District

[Nebraska] Anuj Singh, Peter Kiewit Middle School, Millard Public School District

[New Hampshire] Nikhil Shokeen, Elm Street Middle School, Nashua School District

[New Jersey] Raunak  Singh, Memorial Middle School, Fair Lawn School District

[Nevada] Vera van der Linden, Sage Ridge School, Private

[New York] Matthew James, Clear Stream Avenue Elem School, Valley Stream 30 Union Free School District

[Ohio] Kaavya Tatavarty, Seven Hills School, Private

[Oregon] Vihaan Paliwal, Carden Cascade Academy, Private

[Pennsylvania] Alexander Wang, Germantown Academy, Private

[South Dakota] Malya Chakravarty, George S Mickelson Middle School, Brookings School District 5-1

[Tennessee] Nipun Rajan, Houston Middle School, Germantown Municipal School District

[Texas] Arya Catna, Coppell Middle School West, Coppell Independent School District

[Virginia] Kriesh Tivare, Cooper Middle School, Fairfax County Public School District

[Washington] Alexander Lui, Odle Middle School, Bellevue School District 405

[West Virginia] Dhruvika Soltani, Suncrest Middle School, Private

“The 2021 State Merit Winners have distinguished themselves with their ability to demonstrate the power of applying STEM knowledge in the pursuit of bettering the world,” said Lori McFarling, president of corporate partnerships and social impact at Discovery Education. “We applaud their ingenuity and salute 3M’s continued leadership in bringing real-world STEM engagement, opportunities, and inspiration like the Young Scientist Challenge to students everywhere.”

In its fourteenth year, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge continues to inspire and challenge middle school students to think creatively and apply the power of STEM to discovering real-world solutions. America’s Top Young Scientists have gone on to give TED Talks, file patents, found nonprofits, make the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange, and exhibit at the White House Science Fair. These young innovators have also been named Time Magazine’s first Kid of the Year, featured in The New York Times Magazine, Forbes, Business Insider, and on national television programs such as Good Morning America, CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and more. This year’s top 10 Young Scientist Challenge finalists and honorable mentions will be announced on June 24, 2021 and the finalists will compete in an interactive in-person event to be held on October 18-19, 2021 at 3M’s Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The award-winning 3M Young Scientist Challenge supplements the 3M and Discovery Education program – Young Scientist Lab – which provides no-cost dynamic digital resources for students, teachers, and families to explore, transform, and innovate the world around them. Additional digital resources, content and professional resources are available through 3M’s Science at Home series, an array of videos showcasing 3M scientists and guests performing simple, at home experiments for kids aged 6-12. All the resources are available within Discovery Education’s K-12 learning platform and at

To learn more about the 3M Young Scientist Challenge and meet this year’s finalists, visit

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn.


About 3M
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily as our employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to global challenges at or on Twitter @3M or @3MNews.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms. Through its award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia resources, and the largest professional learning network of its kind, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning, creating immersive STEM experiences, and improving academic achievement around the globe. Discovery Education currently serves approximately 4.5 million educators and 45 million students worldwide, and its resources are accessed in over 140 countries and territories. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to empower teachers with customized solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at


Robert Brittain | 3M |
Grace Maliska | Discovery Education |