SILVER SPRING, Md. and ST. PAUL, Minn., June 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- From alternative energy to sustainable agriculture to medical advancements, today's scientific young minds work hard to solve today's biggest challenges — making materials safer, solutions more efficient, and innovations more accessible. Today, Discovery Education (@DiscoveryEd) and 3M (@3M) announced 10 finalists from across America as part of its Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, which is celebrating its landmark 10th anniversary (#YoungScientist). The annual premier competition recognizes scientific thinking and imagination in students grades 5-8 who dream up a solution to an everyday problem that ultimately could reshape and improve the way we live our lives.
These young thinkers submitted short videos that communicate the science behind a possible solution to an everyday problem. Ten rose to the top of the competition and were selected over hundreds of others. These young ladies and gentlemen were selected based on their science acumen, innovative thinking and exceptional communication skills as demonstrated in their entry videos. The finalists ̶ six girls and four boys, ranging in age from 11-14 ̶ include those from public schools all across the nation.
The 10 Finalists
(in alphabetical order)*:
- Laalitya Acharya, Mason, Ohio, Mason Middle School, Mason City School District
- Karina Andersen, Rocklin, Calif., Granite Oaks Middle School, Rocklin Unified School District
- Anika Bhagavatula, Wilton, Conn., Middlebrook Middle School, Wilton Public School District
- Austin Crouchley, Garden City, N.Y., Garden City Middle School, Garden City School District
- Rithvik Ganesh, Plano, Texas, C.M. Rice Middle School, Plano Independent School District
- Simone Jacobs, Seattle, Wash., Washington Middle School, Seattle School District 1
- Gitanjali Rao, Brentwood, Tenn., Brentwood Middle School, Williamson County School District
- Samu Shrestha, Highlands Ranch, Colo., Cresthill Middle School, Douglas County School District Re-1
- Allie Weber, Sioux Falls, S.D., Edison Middle School, Sioux Falls School District 49-5
- Devin Willis, Boca Raton, Fla., A.D. Henderson University School, Florida Atlantic University Schools
Each finalist will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a 3M scientist during a summer mentorship program that will challenge their curious minds to develop an innovative idea that positively impacts them, their family, their community or the global population. Students meet virtually with their mentors, who provide guidance from the student's concept to actual prototype. 3M is a company rooted in scientific exploration, and the belief that every problem has a solution. These practices set the stage for students' complete experience of the scientific process in which the original idea may evolve. Throughout the program, each student will have access to resources and support provided by 3M and Discovery Education.
All 10 finalists receive $1,000 and a trip to 3M Headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., to participate in the final competition at the 3M Innovation Center on Oct. 16 and 17. There, they will be evaluated on a series of 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 to watch the taping of a Discovery Network show, and the title of "America's Top Young Scientist."
"At 3M, we have thrived for 115 years not just by adapting to the future, but by shaping it," said Jon Lindekugel, Senior Vice President, Business Development and Marketing-Sales, 3M. "These young scientists – with their thirst for discovery and their determination to make the world a better place – are that future, and it's our privilege to support them on their way."
"Each year, Discovery Education proudly joins with 3M to support their commitment to fostering the next generation of passionate innovators," said Lori McFarling, SVP of Discovery Education. "The Young Scientist Challenge brings science to life for young people and helps develop the communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills today's students need for success beyond the classroom."
Over the past ten years, the Young Scientist Challenge has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in student scholarships and prizes, paired students with world-renowned scientists to give them real-world insights and delivered much-needed science resources to millions of students, teachers and families across the country. It 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. Winners have gone on to be featured in Forbes magazine's annual "30 Under 30" list, speak in front of members of Congress and attendees at the United Nations, meet the President of the United States, and demonstrate inventions on national news programs such as ABC World News Tonight, Fox & Friends, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
For more information on the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, including photos and bios of the 10 finalists and a list of the 35 state merit winners, please visit www.youngscientistlab.com/challenge. On Twitter, follow @3M and @DiscoveryEd and join the conversation using #YoungScientist.
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $30 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 www.3M.com 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 3 million educators and over 30 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 www.discoveryeducation.com.
SOURCE Discovery Education