3M and Discovery Education recently announced 10 finalists from across America as part of the annual 2019 3M Young Scientist Challenge. The national middle school science competition recognizes scientific thinking, communication, and curiosity in students grades 5-8 who demonstrate a passion for solving everyday problems that could ultimately improve lives around the world. After submitting a short video communicating the science behind a possible innovation to solve an everyday problem, these young scientists were reportedly selected over hundreds of others because of their science acumen, innovative thinking, and demonstrated communication skills.

“The ‘3M Young Scientist Challenge’ supports young innovators who have demonstrated a passion for science, the perseverance to see their creative discoveries unfold, and a desire to improve the world around us,” said Denise Rutherford, senior vice president for corporate affairs at 3M. “We are excited to recognize this new generation of scientists as part of 3M’s ongoing commitment to STEM-equity and science advocacy for all students. We are really energized to play a part in shaping the next generation of change makers who will lead and mold our future.”

The top 10 3M Young Scientist Challenge finalists—five boys and five girls, ranging in ages from 9-14—include those from public and private schools across the nation. Each finalist will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a 3M scientist during a mentorship program, where they will be challenged to bring their innovative concept to life. Students will meet virtually with their mentors, who will provide guidance to help them move their innovation from concept to prototype—allowing for a complete experience in the scientific process.

All 10 finalists will receive $1,000 and a trip to 3M’s Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn., where they will participate in the final competition on October 28 and 29. 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 grand prize winner will receive $25,000, a destination trip, and the title of America’s Top Young Scientist.

Top 10 3M Young Scientist Challenge finalists are listed below (in alphabetical order by last name):

  • Jaya Choudhary, Canton, Mich., Canton Charter Academy, Public Charter
  • Caroline Crouchley, Garden City, N.Y., Garden City Middle School, Garden City School District
  • Kara Fan, San Diego, Calif., Mesa Verde Middle School, Poway Unified School District
  • Yosef Granillo, University City, Mo., Remington Traditional Elementary School, Pattonville School District
  • Reshma Kosaraju, San Jose, Calif., Harker Middle School, Private
  • Nishant Lahiri, Corning, N.Y., Alternative School for Math and Science, Private
  • Jordan Prawira, Mountain House, Calif., Altamont Elementary School, Lammersville Unified School District
  • Camellia Sharma, Glen Allen, Va., George H Moody Middle School, Henrico County School District
  • Samyak Shrimali, Beaverton, Ore., Valley Catholic Middle School, Private
  • Faraz Tamboli, Plainsboro, N.J., Community Middle School, West Windsor-Plainsboro Region School District

In addition, 3M and Discovery Education recognized 20 young individuals as this year’s 3M Young Scientist Challenge State Merit Winners. These budding young scientists were chosen as a result of their passion for science, spirit of innovation, and effective communications skills. Each State Merit Winner will receive special recognition on the challenge website, along with a technology prize pack.

Top 20 3M Young Scientist Challenge State Merit Winners are listed below (in alphabetical order by state):

  • Anna Devolld, Connections School, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (Alaska)
  • Aaron Chin, Marshall Middle School, San Diego Unified School District -Area 5 (California)
  • Olivia Deering, Cresthill Middle School, Douglas County School District (Colorado)
  • Leonardo Ferraro, St Rose of Lima School, Private (Florida)
  • Vinod Ruppa-Kasani, Taylor Road Middle School, Fulton County School District (Georgia)
  • Emilia Dobek, Wilmette Junior High School, Wilmette Public School District 39 (Illinois)
  • Amogh Kashyap, Urbana Middle School, Frederick County Public School District (Maryland)
  • J.R. Tibbetts, Bruce M. Whittier Middle School, Regional School Unit 16 (Maine)
  • Preethika Vemula, Charles E Brown Middle School, Newton Public School District (Massachusetts)
  • Samhita Pokkunuri, Carl Sandburg Middle School, Old Bridge Township School District (New Jersey)
  • Timothy Ryer, El Dorado Community School, Santa Fe Public School District (New Mexico)
  • Aarjav Brahmbhatt, Ardsley Middle School, Ardsley Union Free School District (New York)
  • Riya Shah, Mills Park Middle School, Wake County Public Schools (North Carolina)
  • Ekansh Mittal, Meadow Park Middle School, Beaverton School District (Oregon)
  • Fatima Falah, As-Sabeel Academy, Private (South Carolina)
  • Pooja Menon, Collegium Charter School, Independent (Pennsylvania)
  • Adithya Sastry, Ball Camp Elementary School, Knox County School District (Tennessee)
  • Caleb Wilson, The Branch School, Private (Texas)
  • Samvrit Rao, Stone Hill Middle School, Loudoun County Public School District (Virginia)
  • Sohil Bhatia, Redmond Middle School, Lake Washington School District (Washington)

3M has sponsored the 3M Young Scientist Challenge for more than a decade, and the program has produced 11 winners and more than 100 finalists, some of whom have gone on to give TED Talks, file patents, found nonprofits, make the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange, and exhibit at the White House Science Fair. These young innovators have been featured in Good Morning America, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The New York Times Magazine, Forbes, Business Insider, and more.

“3M’s leadership in applying science and innovation to make a real impact in the lives of communities across the globe is inspiring, and Discovery Education is proud to partner with the ‘3M Young Scientist Challenge’ to ignite a spark of STEM curiosity and wonder in kids,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Discovery Education. “Together, we hope to demonstrate for students that STEM can change the world.”

For more information, visit www.3m.com or www.discoveryeducation.com.