The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge is the premier national science competition for students in grades 5 through 8. The 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. In 1999, Discovery Communications launched the competition to nurture the next generation of American scientists at a critical age when interest in science begins to decline. In 2008 3M joined forces with Discovery Education in a quest to nurture the next generation of American scientists with an innovative and interactive science program open to every middle school student in America. Over the past eleven years, more than 600,000 middle school students have been nominated to participate in the competition, and winners have gone on to speak in front of members of Congress, work with the nation's top scientists and pursue academic careers in the sciences.
The 10 finalists will be paired with 3M scientists to complete a summer assignment having to do with innovation. Together they will work virtually through pre-assigned objectives with resources and support provided by Discovery Education and 3M.
In the fall, 10 finalists will receive a trip to St. Paul, Minnesota, during which they will present their completed "innovation" to a panel of judges.
Finalists will be judged on their scientific problem solving and communication skills.