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Trisha Seminara, Hunter Public Relations for 3M

Christina Scripps, Discovery Education

— Ten Students Will Participate in Summer Mentorship Program and Compete for $25,000 and Title of “America’s Top Young Scientist”–

–Reed Timmer, of Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers, to host final event–

Silver Spring, Md & St. Paul, Minn (June 29, 2011) – Discovery Education and 3M announced today the top 10 finalists in the 13th annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, the nation’s premier science competition for middle school students. Students from across the country entered this year’s competition, and these budding young scientists rose to the top of their peers due to the scientific ingenuity and innovation they demonstrated in their entry videos.

Each finalist will have an exclusive opportunity to work directly with a 3M Scientist during a summer mentorship program; the finalist will be challenged to create an innovation that solves a problem he/she has identified in everyday life. Mentors will provide guidance as the finalists develop their ideas from a theoretical concept into an actual prototype, which they will present at the competition’s final event at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn. Throughout the program each student will have access to resources and support provided by 3M and Discovery Education, the leading provider of high quality curriculum-based digital content.

The finalists will be awarded a trip to 3M Headquarters to participate in the final event, to be hosted by Reed Timmer of Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers, on Oct. 3-4. During the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge final event, students will demonstrate their scientific acumen, creativity and communication skills in a series of three different challenges, including a presentation of their completed innovation. Each challenge will be scored independently by a panel of judges. The winner will receive $25,000, a trip from Discovery Student Adventures and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”

Discovery Education and 3M are proud to announce the following 10 finalists (in alphabetical order)*:

  • Jack Andraka, Hanover, Md., Chesapeake Science Point Public Charter School
  • Braeden Benedict, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., St. John Fisher Parish School
  • Caroline Boschetto, Doylestown, Pa., Our Lady of Mount Carmel School
  • Austin Curtis, Bedford, Ind., Fayetteville Elementary School
  • Shayan Farmand, Eagleview, Pa., Skyview Upper Elementary School
  • John Holtgrewe, Paducah, Ky., Paducah Middle School
  • Cheyenne Hua, New York, N.Y., Hunter College High School
  • Nolan Lenard, Mobile, Ala., St. Luke`s Episcopal School
  • Divya Ravinder, Lakeland, Fla., Lawton Chiles Middle Academy
  • Albert Tung, Irvine, Calif., Rancho San Joaquin Middle School
  • * Schools listed are from time of competition entry (January – April 2011).

    “The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge reflects our company’s commitment to engage students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and drive their interest toward science-related careers,” said Bill Goodwyn, CEO, Discovery Education. “This year’s finalists demonstrate the innovative spirit and passion for learning critical to pursue a lifelong interest in science.”

    Ian Hardgrove, President, 3M Foundation, added, “Commitment to foster interest and development in the innovators of our future is something we take very seriously at 3M, and our partnership with Discovery Education helps demonstrate just how exciting the journey of learning can be for students. It will be a sincere honor to host these bright young minds at the 3M Innovation Center in October.”

    The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge targets students in the years when research indicates their interest in science begins to wane 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 could solve or impact an everyday problem related to the way we move, keep ourselves healthy or make a difference. This month, 36 merit winners were also selected as runners-up in this year’s competition based on their scientific knowledge and communication skills exhibited in their video submissions. For a list of the state merit winners, go to

    For more information on the challenge, including photos and bios of the 10 finalists, go to

    About Discovery Education
    Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) revolutionized television with Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education. Powered by the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services. Explore the future of education at

    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 $27 billion in sales, 3M employs about 80,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 65 countries. For more information, visit or follow @3MNews on Twitter.