The next top scientist could win $25,000

The next generation of STEM leaders is invited to solve tomorrow’s challenges and compete for $25,000 in the annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge

Discovery Education and 3M have opened the annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, a national science competition for students in grades 5-8.

Through the program, young inventors have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work closely with a 3M Scientist Mentor, compete for $25,000, and earn the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”

The Challenge rewards students who use their science acumen and innovative thinking to create new ways to solve the issues we face every day. Hannah Herbst, who won last year for her energy probe prototype that seeks to offer a stable power source to developing countries, entered the contest because she wanted to help her 9-year-old pen pal living in Ethiopia who lacks a reliable source of power and electricity.

“The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge provided so many amazing opportunities – from working with my 3M Scientist Mentor, to bonding with nine other amazing finalists and spending three days at the 3M Innovation Center,” said Herbst. “The Challenge taught me the importance of the three C’s of science – creativity, collaboration and communication – as well as embracing failure as an opportunity for learning. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget!”

Any student in grades 5-8 can enter the contest by creating a one to two-minute video communicating the science behind a new innovation or solution that could solve or impact an everyday problem.

Video entries will be evaluated based on their creativity, scientific knowledge, persuasiveness and overall presentation. Ten finalists will then be chosen to participate in an exclusive mentorship program where they will work closely with a 3M scientist. During the program, finalists will be challenged 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 in St. Paul, Minn., to compete at the final event in October 2016.

All video entries must be submitted online at no later than April 20, 2016. Videos will not be judged on production skills and may be recorded on cell phones or basic digital cameras.

“Turning ideas into reality is what 3M scientists do every day,” said Jon Lindekugel, senior vice president of business development and marketing-sales at 3M. “The Young Scientist Challenge is designed to inspire the next generation of science leaders by enabling them to see the practical applications of science and how their inventions can be used to improve lives.”

Since its inception, 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. Previous winners have met the President of the United States, addressed members of Congress, worked with the nation’s top scientists and been featured in Forbes magazine’s annual “30 Under 30” list.

“The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge allows our nation’s next generation of innovators to interact and be mentored by world-renowned scientists, and inspires interest in the wonders of science,” said Nancy Addison, Director of PreK-12 STEM Education, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. “This unique partnership between Discovery Education and 3M encourages scientific exploration among America’s youth and helps cultivate important skills to help students succeed in college, career and life.”

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


Sign up for our K-12 newsletter

Newsletter: Innovations in K12 Education
By submitting your information, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Laura Ascione

Want to share a great resource? Let us know at

eSchool News uses cookies to improve your experience. Visit our Privacy Policy for more information.