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Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge

Earn Points:
To earn points for this activity, upload a photo of you at the activity, a copy of a certificate earned, or other documentation to show that you participated.

Describe the Activity: 

The Challenge:
Identify an everyday problem that directly impacts your family, community, or the global population. Create a solution. The solution must be a new innovation or idea, and cannot simply be a new use for an existing product.

Video Submission:
The challenge is to create a 1-2 minute video that… 

  • explains the problem. How does it impact you and your family, community or the global population? How does that make you feel and why are you inspired to fix the problem?
  • describes a new innovation or solution that could solve or impact the problem;
  • explains how the innovation relates to one (or more) of 3M’s expertise areas listed below. 
  • explains the science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics behind their innovation; and
  • illustrates how your innovation could both address the everyday problem you've identified and have a broader impact locally or globally.

Thought Starters: 3M is committed to using science to improve lives, and we want entrants of the Young Scientist Challenge to share that same passion and vision. Your innovation can aim to solve any problem that inspires you, across any industry – from electronics to automotive, to construction and design, to communications, personal safety and professional cleaning. We hope 3M’s innovations will inspire you to think about a scientific solution that solves a problem you care about. To see all the categories in which 3M is applying science to improve lives, click to this link.

The following ideas are thought-starters to help you identify a problem and think about a creative solution: manufacturing, energy, safety, healthcare, transportation). You are encouraged to consider one of these topic areas or come up with your own idea!
Scoring Criteria:

  • Creativity (ingenuity and innovative thinking) (30%);
  • Scientific knowledge (30%);
  • Persuasiveness and effective communication (20%); and
  • Overall presentation (20%).
Time Details: 

The Challenge opens on December 15, 2017 and closes on April 19, 2018. Finalists will be notified in June 2018 and will participate in the final event at 3M HQ in October 2018.

Cost Details: 

Free to enter the competition

People Details: 

Students must submit individual videos. Only one entry per student is allowed per competition year. If you would like more information contact:

Prize Details: 

Grand Prize (1):$25,000 + attend taping of a Discovery Network show + title of “America’s Top Young Scientist”
Runner-Up (3):Taping of a Discovery Network show 
Honorable Mention (6):“Excitations” for a $500 excursion 
Finalists (10): $1,000 + summer mentorship with a 3M scientist + trip to 3M Innovation Center for final event + chance to attend taping of a Discovery Network show 
State Merit Winners (51): 3M Innovation prize packs

Outcome of the Activity: 
The mission of the Young Scientist Challenge is to foster a new generation of American scientists at an age when interest in science generally declines, to cultivate the next generation of problem-solvers, and to give students the unique opportunity to work directly with 3M scientists.
Activity Address: 
United States
39° 55' 6.3372" N, 75° 8' 11.958" W
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Participating Schools