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Dara Klatt, Discovery Education

Katie Alper, for 3M

— PLUS, New Young Scientist Lab Interactive Portal Brings Science to Life in the Classroom –

“Any curious middle schooler can enter! The key is just believing in yourself … you may never know whether an idea may change a person's life.” – Maanasa Mendu, 2016 Young Scientist Challenge Winner

Silver Spring, Md. and St. Paul, Minn. (January 12, 2017) – Discovery Education and 3M are proud to announce the opening of the 10th annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, the nation’s premier science competition for students in grades 5-8.  This program, offers young inventors the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be mentored by a 3M Scientist Mentor, compete for $25,000, and earn the title of “America's Top Young Scientist.”   

The Challenge rewards curious students who use their science acumen and creativity to solve a problem in their local, national or global community. Fourteen-year-old Maanasa Mendu won last year for her creation of HARVEST, a bio-inspired energy device that captures energy in the form of wind, rain and sun – and converts it to power.  Mendu was inspired to enter the contest through her “pretty awesome” eighth grade science teacher. 

“The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge was really meaningful,” said Mendu.  “I encourage any curious middle schooler to enter, because you will not only get a chance to win amazing prizes like $25,000, but you will have a number of opportunities to enhance your scientific knowledge, creativity, and collaboration skills! The great thing about the Young Scientist Challenge is that you have an amazing 3M mentor at your side.  Overall, the Challenge allows you to broaden your horizons.” 

Students in grades 5-8 can enter the challenge by creating a one to two-minute video communicating the science behind their big idea that could solve or impact an everyday problem.  Video entries will be evaluated based on their creativity, scientific knowledge, persuasiveness and delivery. Ten finalists will then be chosen to participate in an exclusive summer mentorship program, where they will work closely with and learn from a 3M scientist.

The program challenges, finalists’ thinking to develop an innovation that positively impacts them, their family, their community or the global population. The students will meet virtually with their mentors and will receive additional resources and support from 3M and Discovery Education. Each finalist will also receive a trip to the 3M Innovation Center at the company’s headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., to compete at the final event in October 2017.

All video entries must be submitted online at no later than April 19, 2017. Videos will not be judged on production skills and may be recorded on cell phones or basic digital cameras.

Timed to the Challenge opening is the launch of Young Scientist Lab, an interactive portal for scientific exploration, and new home to the award-winning Young Scientist Challenge. The Lab is a one-stop STEM destination for teachers, students and parents. It offers engaging K-8 activities and standards-aligned lesson plans and interactive teaching tools to foster the next generation of scientists. There is also inspiration on how innovation can solve problems across industries: manufacturing, energy, safety, healthcare, transportation, electronics, automotive, construction and design, personal safety and more. Additionally, users of the Lab will get up-to-the-minute science news, learn about live events, participate in upcoming field trips, and read new blogs about the Young Scientist Challenge.

Over the years, the Young Scientist Challenge has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in student  prizes, paired students with world-renowned scientists and delivered much-needed science resources to millions of students, teachers and families across the country.  In 2016, entries were submitted by nearly all 50 states, from urban, suburban and rural districts. Six girls and four boys were named as the top 10 finalists. 

“As an educator, whether or not you have a student selected as a finalist, the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge is about cultivating important skills to help students succeed in college, career and life,” said Francie Snyder, teacher at Manatee County Public Schools’ Oneco and Prine Elementary Schools in Manatee County, Fla. “Encouraging participation in the challenge is about inspiring young minds of all kinds, from all places, about the wonders of science and working to create a solution that could improve lives.”

For more information on the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, including submission guidelines, tips from previous winners and complete rules, please visit:

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