3M and Discovery Education today announced the start of the 12th annual 3M Young Scientist Challenge (#YoungScientist), the nation’s premier science competition for students in grades 5-8. The 3M Young Scientist Challenge is designed to encourage the exploration of science and innovation among America’s youth and to promote the importance of science communication. Ten national finalists will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from a 3M Scientist Mentor, compete for $25,000, and earn the title of America’s Top Young Scientist. The competition entries are accepted until the Tuesday, May 7, 2019 deadline.

The program challenges participants to develop an innovation that positively impacts them, their family, their community or the world. Last year’s winner, fourteen-year-old Rishab Jain, created an algorithm to make pancreatic cancer treatment more effective by using artificial intelligence to accurately locate and track the pancreas in real-time during MRI radiotherapy.

“The 3M Young Scientist Challenge gave me the opportunity to learn even more about how we can use artificial intelligence to change people’s lives,” said Rishab Jain, America’s 2018 Top Young Scientist. “Any student that’s interested in science would enjoy this opportunity to come up with new ideas, learn from real scientists and win prizes. I am so thankful for this award and the chance to continue my love for science.”

Students in grades 5-8 can enter the challenge by creating a one to two-minute video communicating the science behind a big idea aimed at solving or impacting an everyday problem. Video entries will be evaluated based on their creativity, scientific knowledge, persuasiveness, effective communication and delivery. Ten finalists will then be chosen to participate in an exclusive summer mentorship program, where they will work closely with and learn from a 3M scientist. Each finalist will also receive a trip to the 3M Innovation Center at the company’s headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., to compete at the final event in October 2019. All video entries must be submitted online at youngscientistlab.com/challenge no later than Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Videos will not be judged on production skills and may be recorded on cell phones or basic digital cameras.

“At 3M, we guide America’s Top Young Scientists as they apply scientific learning to everyday life,” said Paul Keel, senior vice president of Business Development and Marketing-Sales at 3M. “Through our immersive summer mentorship program, 3M provides an environment to explore the countless avenues for which science provides an on-ramp. It is a real pleasure to work with these curious and creative young leaders to help them take their ideas from conception to reality.”

Launched in 2016, the Young Scientist Lab is an interactive portal for scientific exploration and home to the award-winning 3M Young Scientist Challenge. It is a one-stop STEM destination for educators, students and parents, offering engaging K-8 activities, lesson plans and interactive teaching tools to stimulate budding scientists. Students can find inspiration on how innovation can solve problems across industries, including: energy, safety, healthcare, connectivity, environment and more. The Young Scientist Lab also provides users with recent science news, Virtual Field Trips and new blogs about the 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

“The 3M Young Scientist Challenge, the premier competition inspiring intellectual curiosity in youth, invites students to expand their ingenuity, develop creative solutions and embrace the spark that leads to problem solving for our globe’s most pressing challenges,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Discovery Education. “Discovery Education is delighted to collaborate with 3M to continue encouraging student exploration and critical thinking, while opening up access to the wonder of science. Together, we hope to demonstrate for students that STEM can change the world.”

Since its inception, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in student 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. It 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. Winners have gone on to be featured in Forbes magazine’s annual 30 Under 30 list, speak in front of members of Congress and attendees at the United Nations, meet the President of the United States, and demonstrate inventions on national television programs such as ABC World News Tonight, Fox & Friends, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

“As an educator, I am thrilled to see the ways in which the 3M Young Scientist Challenge encourages young students to conduct experiments and provides them with the skills they need to apply scientific learning to issues around the world,” Francie Snyder, Manatee County elementary school educator from Manatee County, Fla. “Students are encouraged to let their curiosity and passion for science grow through hands-on learning while simultaneously developing essential communication, critical thinking and problem solving skills.”

3M Young Scientist Challenge materials are also available through Discovery Education Streaming Plus. An award-winning comprehensive digital service supplementing instruction across all K-12 curricular areas, Discovery Education Streaming Plus empowers educators to create dynamic learning environments that mirror students’ use of technology outside the classroom. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital content and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com.