Discovery Education and 3M announced the top 10 finalists in the 15th annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge (http://www.youngscientistchallenge.com), the nation's premier science competition for students in grades 5-8.
Katie Hudek, an eighth grader at the Grafton Hill School, is among the finalists. Hudek was selected a finalist on the basis of one of her inventions: a protein interaction network that can be used to guide AIDS research. She'll present her invention at the national finals in Minneapolis next month for a chance to win $25,000. Watch her entry video here. Read Hudek's bio here.
Students nationwide were asked to create a short video describing a new innovative solution that would impact an everyday problem, and these budding young scientists rose to the top of the competition due to the scientific ingenuity and inventive thinking demonstrated in their entry videos.
Each finalist will have an exclusive opportunity to work directly with a 3M scientist during a unique summer mentorship program where the finalist will be challenged to identify an everyday problem and create an innovative solution. As part of the world-renowned program, mentors will provide guidance as the finalist develops their idea from a concept into an actual prototype, which they will present during the competition's final event at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn. Throughout the program, each student will have access to resources and support provided by 3M and Discovery Education.
This year's finalists will also receive $1,000 and be awarded a trip to 3M Headquarters to participate in the final competition from Oct. 6-8. Students will demonstrate their scientific acumen, creativity and communication skills in 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 trip from Discovery Student Adventures and the title of "America's Top Young Scientist."
Discovery Education and 3M are proud to announce the following 10 finalists (in alphabetical order)*:
- Maureen Botros, Wichita, Kan., Homeschool
- Anish Chaluvadi, Simpsonville, S.C., Langston Charter Middle School
- Daniel Culver, Montrose, Colo., Columbine Middle School
- Timmy DeMember, Monrovia, Md., Windsor Knolls Middle School
- Katie Hudek, Grafton, Mass., Grafton Hill School
- Srijay Kasturi, Reston, Va., iSTEM Educators
- Edward Kim, Waco, Texas, Midway Middle School
- Brooke Martin, Spokane, Wash., Odyssey School at the Libby Center
- Peyton Robertson, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Pine Crest School
- Aishani Sil, Plano, Texas, Rice Middle School
* Schools listed are from time of competition entry (January - April 2013).
"Investing in relationships, and in rigorous and relevant educational experiences for students is the cornerstone of public education," said Calvin Watts, assistant superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools and 2012 Young Scientist Challenge judge. "The Young Scientist Challenge is an investment that will provide the greatest return--students who think critically, who provide real world solutions, and who are ready for success in college, career and life."
Ian Hardgrove, president, 3M Foundation, added, "We are excited to provide the ten finalists with the unique opportunity to spend the summer creating their final innovations with the individualized support of our 3M scientist mentors. Guiding these exceptional students on how to think and innovate like a real scientist, our team of 3M experts can encourage the next generation of innovators and inspire interest in the wonders of science. We look forward to welcoming the students to the 3M Innovation Center 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. In January, students nationwide were asked to create a short video describing a new innovation or solution that could solve or impact an everyday problem related to how we live, work or play. In addition to the 10 finalists, 34 students were selected as state merit winners in this year's competition and will each receive a 3M Innovation Prize Package that includes a Kindle Fire HD with a branded case and 3M Natural View Anti-Glare Screen Protector.