Skip to content


static image

Trisha Seminara, Hunter Public Relations for 3M


Lyndsey Grubbs, Discovery Education


— Peyton Robertson was Awarded $25,000 and Named America’s Top Young Scientist for his Innovative Sandbag Design —

— Velocity Network’s Chris Jacobs Served as Master of Ceremonies

(St. Paul, Minn.) Discovery Education and 3M have named 11-year-old Peyton Robertson from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., winner of the 2013 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for his innovative sandbag design.

Every year, millions of dollars of damage are incurred due to salt-water flooding, with the most recent claims being made during last year’s Hurricane Sandy. This prototype aims to help better protect flood zones against salt-water damage from future storms. Robertson, a sixth grader at Stanford University’s Middle School, competed alongside nine other finalists yesterday during a live competition at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn., and was awarded the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist,” $25,000 and a trip to Costa Rica from Discovery Student Adventures.

To download hi-res images and b-roll footage of the science competition, go to

Over the past three months, Robertson and the other finalists had the exclusive opportunity to work directly with a 3M Scientist as they created their personal innovation as part of a summer mentorship program. The 3M Scientists provided guidance to the finalists as they developed their ideas from a theoretical concept into an actual prototype that would help solve a problem in everyday life.

During the final competition yesterday, the finalists shared their completed innovations with a panel of distinguished judges. In addition to presenting their prototypes, the ten finalists competed in two additional challenges where they were asked to: 1) combine multiple 3M technologies to yield new solutions; and 2) build a machine designed to turn on a light bulb using science and engineering principles. Finalists were evaluated on their scientific knowledge, creativity and use of 3M technology. Chris Jacobs, on-air host from Velocity Network, served as master of ceremonies for the awards banquet.

“Each year, the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge serves as an inspirational reminder of the incredible ingenuity that comes from igniting students’ natural curiosity in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects,” said Bill Goodwyn, CEO, Discovery Education. “Discovery Education is proud to stand alongside 3M in congratulating Peyton and the rest of this year’s finalists on impressive work that foreshadows a bright future for our country.”

“Innovation is a way of life at 3M, and the opportunity to welcome such a talented group of bright, young students to celebrate the spirit of scientific exploration is very special for us,” added Ian Hardgrove, President, 3M Foundation. “Our partnership with Discovery Education continues to highlight the critical alliance of innovation with education to invest in the future, starting with the next generation of creative thinkers.  We congratulate them all.”

The remaining nine finalists also received a variety of prizes from Discovery Education and 3M. The second, third and fourth place winners each received a $1,000 cash prize and a trip from Discovery Student Adventures to Costa Rica. These extraordinary students are:

  • Brooke Martin from North Central High School in Spokane, Wash. received second place for her innovative device – the iCPooch – that lets pet owners video chat and give their pets a treat while away from home.
  • Srijay Kasturi, a home-school student from Reston, Va., received third place for his innovation that helps the visually impaired detect objects in their path.
  • Daniel Culver from Montrose High School in Montrose, Colo. received fourth place for his innovative indoor cook stove design that greatly reduces harmful CO2 emissions.

The fifth through tenth place winners each received a $1,000 cash prize and a $500 gift card from Discovery Experiences, which offers first-hand, memorable adventures they see and learn about on Discovery’s networks. These finalists include:

  • Reeny Botros, homeschooled in Wichita, Kans.
  • Anish Chaluvadi, from Southside High School in Simpsonville, S.C.
  • Tim DeMember, from Windsor Knolls Middle School in Monrovia, Md.
  • Katie Hudek, homeschooled in Grafton, Mass.,
  • Edward Kim, from Midway High School in Waco, Tex.
  • Aishani Sil, from Rice Middle School in Plano, Tex.

For more information on the 2013 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge and to learn more about this year’s finalists, go to

About the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge

As the nation’s premier science competition for middle school students, the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge targets students in the years when research indicates their interest in science begins to fade and encourages them to explore scientific concepts and creatively communicate their findings.  In January, students nationwide were asked to create a short video describing a new innovation or solution that would impact an everyday problem related to how we live, how we work or how we play.  In addition to the 10 finalists, 34 students were selected as state merit winners in this year’s competition and received their own 3M Innovation Prize Package. For more information, go to

About 3M

3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms them into thousands of ingenious products. Our culture of creative collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies that make life better. 3M is the innovation company that never stops inventing. With $30 billion in sales, 3M employs 88,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit or follow @3MNews on Twitter.

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content 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.  Available in over half of all U.S. schools, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate 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

# # #