SILVER SPRING, Md. and ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Today's students will ultimately decide how we solve tomorrow's challenges, and 10 young scientists are being recognized for showing that the next generation does not have to wait until they graduate college to help change the world for the better.
Discovery Education and 3M have announced that 10 students from across the country have been named finalists in the 2015 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for their use of scientific thinking and imagination to dream up a solution to an everyday problem that could ultimately reshape the way we live our lives.
After submitting a short video communicating the science behind a possible solution to an everyday problem, these young scientists rose to the top of the competition due to their science acumen, innovative thinking and exceptional communication skills demonstrated in their entry videos.
Discovery Education and 3M are proud to announce the following 10 finalists (in alphabetical order)*:
- Peter Finch, Harrisville, R.I., Homeschool
- Arthur Frigo, III, Jupiter, Fla., Turtle River Montessori
- Raghav Ganesh, San Jose, Calif., Joaquin Miller Middle School, Cupertino Union School District
- Amulya Garimella, Pittsburgh, Pa., Dorseyville Middle School, Fox Chapel Area School District
- Iris Gupta, North Potomac, Md., Robert Frost Middle School, Montgomery County Public Schools
- Hannah Herbst, Boca Raton, Fla., Alexander D. Henderson University School, Florida Atlantic University Schools
- Alec Lessing, New York, N.Y., Collegiate School
- Conner Pettit, Lone Tree, Colo., Cresthill Middle School, Douglas County School District
- Krishna Reddy, Wichita Falls, Texas, Kirby World Academy, Wichita Falls Independent School District
- Sanjana Shah, Cupertino, Calif., John F. Kennedy Middle School, Cupertino Union School District
* Schools listed are from time of competition entry (January – April 2015).
Each finalist will now have the exclusive opportunity to work directly with a 3M Scientist during a unique summer mentorship program, where they will be challenged to develop an innovation that positively impacts them, their family, their community or the global population. As part of the world-renowned program, students will meet virtually with their mentors, who will provide guidance as the finalist develops his or her idea from a concept into an actual prototype. Throughout the program, each student will have access to resources and support provided by 3M and Discovery Education. Students will then present their inventions during the competition's final event at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn. October 12th and 13th.
Finalists will receive $1,000 and be awarded a trip to 3M Headquarters to participate in the final competition where they will be evaluated on a series of three different 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 student adventure trip to a destination such as Costa Rica, and the title of "America's Top Young Scientist."
"On a daily basis at 3M, we see the powerful results of combining science and collaboration," Jesse Singh, senior vice president for marketing and sales at 3M, said. "We also know the importance of encouraging the next generation of scientific thinkers, who will ultimately create new ways to solve the issues we see every day. By pairing each of our 10 finalists with a 3M scientist mentor, we look to provide guidance and support through the scientific process as their ideas become reality in anticipation of the competition in October."
The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge 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. Each January, students nationwide are asked to create a short video describing a new innovation or solution that could solve or impact an everyday problem. In addition to the 10 finalists, 35 students have been selected as state merit winners in this year's competition and each will receive a technology prize pack.
"In order to foster our next generation of STEM leaders, we must provide students with engaging opportunities that support what they're learning in the classroom and show them how science can be applied to everyday life to solve real-world problems," Bill Goodwyn, president and CEO of Discovery Education, said. "The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge fulfills this mission by encouraging the exploration of science and innovation among America's youth, and inspiring young minds nationwide to dream up their own creative solutions to everyday challenges."
Since its inception, the Young Scientist Challenge has awarded more than $600,000 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. Winners have gone on to be featured in Forbes magazine's annual "30 Under 30" list, speak in front of members of Congress, meet the President of the United States, work with the nation's top scientists and pursue academic careers in science.
For more information on the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, including photos and bios of the 10 finalists and a list of the state merit winners, please visit www.youngscientistchallenge.com.