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3M and Discovery Education Recognize 27 State Merit Winners in the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge

3m ysc 2020 smw pr image

Students across the United States awarded for unique innovations and STEM enthusiasm

SILVER SPRING, Md. & ST. PAUL, Minn. (Monday, June 22, 2020) – 3M and Discovery Education today announced the 27 State Merit Winners in the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge. As the nation’s premier middle school science competition, these young scientists submitted outstanding projects utilizing the power of STEM to improve the world.

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

“Inspirational moments of community are all around us and the need for action is clearly strong — now more than ever, we are looking to the next generation to help improve the world we live in, and the 3M Young Scientist Challenge is a great platform for them to express what and how they want to see change,” said Denise Rutherford, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs at 3M. “The 2020 finalists and state merit winners prove once again that young minds combine STEM skills with imagination and creativity to identify and solve a real-world problem using science. They will undoubtedly build on their knowledge and experience with science to impact the future, and that is something for us all to embrace. We are proud of this year’s competitors and remain committed to supporting STEM-for-all and building a path to a better life for everyone.”

The 3M Young Scientist Challenge proudly recognizes this year’s State Merit Winners. The 27 State Merit Winners 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 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge State Merit Winners are listed below in alphabetical order by state:

[Alabama] Jordan Jennings, Homeschool – Key Destiny, Madison County
[Arkansas] Lajwanthi Saravanakumar, Washington Junior High School, Bentonville Public School District
[Arizona] Prisha Shroff, Accelerated Middle School, Chandler Unified School District
[California] Audrey Luu, Sam H. Lawson Middle School, Cupertino Union School District
[Connecticut] Xander Shavers, Beecher Road School, Woodbridge School District
[Delaware] Neehal Pathak, Brandywine Springs School, Red Clay Consolidated School District
[Florida] Siddharth Kini, Seminole Science Charter School, Seminole County
[Georgia] Roshan Kolachina, J.C. Booth Middle School, Fayette County Public Schools
[Iowa] Sujan Vijayraj Shadrak, Oak Ridge Middle School, Linn-Mar Community School District
[Indiana] Mira Nuthakki, Creekside Middle School, Carmel Clay Schools
[Kentucky] Kar, Meyzeek Middle School, Jefferson County Public Schools
[Massachusetts] Sva Kassev, Sharon Middle School, Sharon Public Schools
[Maryland] Sudhish Swain, Takoma Park Middle School, Montgomery County Public Schools
[Minnesota] Rohan Dham, Wayzata Central Middle School, Wayzata Public Schools
[North Carolina] Lydia Denton, Sallie B. Howard School of the Arts, Wilson County Schools
[New Jersey] Arnesh Kundu, Homeschool
[Nevada] Akshansh Chauhan, Davidson Academy of Nevada, Washoe County School District
[New York] Jayden Tarife, Lakewood Elementary School, Clarkstown Central School District
[Ohio] Haasini Mendu, Mason Middle School, Mason City School District
[Oregon] Ishan Ahluwalia, Stroller Middle School, Beaverston School District
[Pennsylvania] Pooja Menon, J.R. Fugett Middle School, West Chester Area School District
[South Carolina] Vishnu Abboy, GREEN Charter School, Greenville County Schools
[Tennessee] Adithya Sastry, Farragut Middle School, Knox County Schools
[Texas] Ella Schreiter, Brookside Intermediate School, Clear Creek Independent School District
[Virginia] Aashka Shah, George H. Moody Middle School, Henrico County Public Schools
[Washington] Kosha Upadhyay, Odle Middle School, Bellevue School District
[Wisconsin] Keira Block, Golda Meir School, Milwaukee Public Schools

“This year’s State Merit Winners demonstrate exceptional creativity and scientific passion in the pursuit of bettering the world,” said Lori McFarling, President of Corporate & Community Partnerships, Discovery Education. “We celebrate their innovation and applaud 3M’s leadership in fostering youth engagement in STEM through the Young Scientist Challenge.”

In its 13th 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 featured in Good Morning America, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The New York Times Magazine, Forbes, Business Insider, and more. This year’s top 10 Young Scientist Challenge finalists will be announced on June 23, 2020 and will compete in an interactive virtual event to be held on October 12-13, 2020.

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. All the resources are also available through the 3M Channel and Community Partnerships Channel on Discovery Education Experience, the digital service whose high-quality resources and instructional supports for educators are enriching student learning and extending it to the real world.

For more information on the 3M Young Scientist Challenge, including photos of the state merit winners, visit


About 3M
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $32 billion in sales, our 96,000 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 @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 

Rainah Chang-Faulk | 3M |
Robert Brittain | 3M |
Grace Maliska | Discovery Education |