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July 2011

Doing research

Boiled down to one word research is tedious. You must be pretty patient in order to achieve any results from this because you have to sift through loads of information on the internet, which is anything but fast. Search engines are the best places to start especially google. You first want to look up what you are interested in on Wikipedia. Despite rumors that the information isn't very accurate it provides a great base for learning about a new topic but you should just find additional sources that back this information up. You then want to be way more specific and narrow down on what you specifically want to do and look at scientific journal articles since they describe background, procedures, and materials that were used in the experiment.

One thing is for sure you cannot solve any question without at least some research but most things require a lot of research. If you don't know something you would have to have a PhD in that area in order to design a correct experimental design to find the answer to your question, but you probably don't so just look it up. Read more

YSC Blog Post 3 -- [Cheyenne]

It was an easy process to narrow my list of problems down to three.  I simply chose the ones that excited me every time I thought about them.  However, it was harder to choose a single one to work on.  I ended up selecting the most developed one, but I could just as well have chosen a problem that I had no idea how to solve yet.  I would just have to think a bit more.

My mentor, Dr. Maria Appeaning, a chemist who specializes in adhesives, has been a huge help.  She approved my decision, and promptly sent me supplies and materials.  I couldn’t have gone far without her.

The problem that I chose requires testing of the 3M material that I will incorporate.  Although I can find a slew of information on the 3M websites, the particular parameter that I’m looking for has no information, because the material is not usually used the way I will utilize it.  Therefore, I must test them to figure out which one to use in my invention. Read more

Making mistakes

A few days ago I realized that I had overlooked a major flaw in my single idea, which is the viability of my solution. Fortunately for me my mentor Dr.Ylitalo spoke to a 3M microbiologist who quickly realized that my solution would not work and is not practical. So now I have readjusted my focus and found a new innovation that I can work on and I am right now talking with my mentor about whether it will work or not. Read more

Week 3- Shawn Farmand

The challenge so far has been coming along well. It was quite difficult to choose just one problem from three of my best! The biggest factor that influenced me to choose the idea I chose is because both the problem and the solution are very realistic.

Having a 3M scientist to guide me along this amazing journey has definitely helped me so far. I like how Dr. Oxman does not give me the answer, but gives me the inspiration for an idea. He has also guided me to a more scientific approach, henceforth, I realized how much more research I have to do! Read more

Week 3: Nolan Lenard

A lot has happened this week. My idea in my video has turned into a somewhat different device.

StreetHawk started out as a transmitter running on a solar power cell that can be picked up by a smart phone or navigation system. It looks like this.

Read more

Young Scientist Challenge Week 2

Making observations was an easy process. As humans, we are curious to find ways to make our lives easier whether its the invention of the car or the microwave. It is also truly fascinating to see how past innovators have solved their problems by observation and reasoning. Many of them used existing products for, as the Mythbusters put it, ways they were never intended to. It is this ingenuity that I tried to keep in mind as I tried to identify problems with our everyday life that could be solved using technology. Read more

Choosing a single idea

After observing various problems in the environment and then dreaming up solutions to them I was having a very difficult time narrowing my focus down to just one of the solutions I had thought of. I first thought of which category of science that I was interested in and then I was able to narrow my choices down to 3 problems. I then thought of which one would be the most feasible to do and which solution I could incorporate a 3M product in. Then I discussed with my mentor about one of my solutions and I came up with a single solution that I wanted to concentrate all of my attention on. I think the biggest factor in my decision was which solution I would have the most fun working on. Read more

I'll Be Back Soon!

Hi everybody!

I will be gone for the next two weeks on a backpacking trip. Unfortunately, this means I will not be able to post to the blog.

You’ll hear from me as soon as I get back!                                                              

>>Braeden Benedict Read more

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Week 2- Braeden Benedict

Welcome back, everybody!

As we conclude Week 2 of the Summer Program, I am completely engrossed in my project. I find choosing a problem to be the toughest part of any science research project. Taking my wide range of ideas and narrowing them down to just three was especially difficult.

I’ve found an interesting way to classify the observations I have made and the problems I have seen along what I call “The Spectrum of Importance.” Read more

YSC Blog Post 2 --

Well, the second week is almost over.  I’ve made a considerable amount of progress on my project.  The first step in the process is to make observations and figure out the problem causing them.  I thought this would be easy, but it was a lot harder than it seemed.  Although I kept an eye open for all sorts of problems during my day, not restricting them to the way we move, keep ourselves healthy, or make a difference, I still didn’t manage to come up with a lot of problems.

To solve that problem (haha!), I asked my friends and family members what frustrated them during their days. I ended up with a much larger flood of problems that I could try to come up with solutions to. This shows that scientists can’t just live in isolation and solve problems on their own. They must communicate with others in order to achieve a wider view of the world, and see things from multiple perspectives so that they can come up with the solution that best helps the population as a whole. Read more

Week 2- Shawn Farmand

I had my introductory call with my mentor, Dr. Joe Oxman, last week. He is an amazing scientist with many innovations and inventions. I am very excited and lucky to be working with him. This is an amazing opportunity and all the finalists should be very proud of themselves. Read more

Week 2 - Austin Curtis

I talked to my mentor for the first time this week. He was really nice. We talked about some of my project ideas. We will be talking with each other all summer.

I had to brainstorm 8 different problems as part of my project. Some were good ideas, and some are probably too hard to solve. Then I narrowed my list down to three. Eventually my mentor will help me pick the best project for this contest.

We have already ordered supplies to see if some of my solutions can actually work. I'm really excited to get to the testing phase. Read more

Making Observations

So far the competition has been going great! I have already become even more excited about science than I already was. I have been making observations about the world around me and trying to think about what is the problem and what sort of innovation I could make to help fix it. I have already learned so much about science because my observations range from microbiology to civil engineering and all in between. I think that this is the greatest opportunity for science that anyone in the world could have. Read more

Young Scientist Challenge Week 1

Hello from hot Southern California! The past month or so I spent my time worrying about what I would do this summer when the people at the YSC informed me that I would be participating in this summer's mentorship/innovation program which would finally give me something to do. It was a thrilling moment and a nice way to end my middle school adventure.

I first heard about the Young Scientist Challenge from my seventh grade teacher and Science Olympiad coach, Mrs. Driscoll, who had also informed one of my close friends about the Challenge also. Yet that year, I didn't think that my science fair project would be decent enough to participate in a national competition. With inspiration, I decided to make a video and spent countless hours trying different innovations and illustrating their possible impacts. Read more

Young Scientist Challenge Opening Blog

When I first heard about the Young Scientist Challenge through a local science fair, I immediately recognized it as the kind of program that I wanted to be a part of. It included the aspects of science that I had always felt were missing from the classroom: true discovery, innovation, and creativity. I was excited about the prospect of truly creating something unique and useful, as well as the idea of producing  a short movie about what I designed. I guess to sum it all up, I was inspired to enter the Young Scientist Challenge because I had an idea and this contest gave me the opportunity and freedom to share it. Read more

Nolan Lenard - July 7th

Hello! This is Nolan Lenard. Welcome to my blog. This is my first one!

This summer, I've been helping out a lot at my school's summer camp in the computer lab. It's quite an experience to learn how the young child's mind works. There's a kid in the class that complains about the mouse being reversed, and when you look his mouse is upside-down! He just keeps doing it!

Every now and then I forget that I am a finalist in the Young Scientist Challenge. When I remember again I feel like I have won all over again. I am so grateful to be in this competition. I was concerned that my video seemed more like an idea for an app than a product.  I have a feeling that the final competition will be even more challenging. Read more

Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge

Very excited to be a top 10 finalist. I am grateful to my science teacher Mr.Cornaby for suggesting my involvement in this project.

Making the video was a learning experience. I had no idea what to do when I was presented with the project, but I brainstormed and eventually came up with an idea.

I am very excited about these next coming months. Read more

Week 1 - Austin Curtis

 My mom and dad inspired me to enter the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. I wasn't sure if I should enter, but they encouraged me to enter. Last fall, I asked my dad to make me a laboratory in our basement garage. I have a computer and a lab desk to build new things. We used the lab as the background in my video.

I was worried that I would sound weird, or look funny, but the final video turned out better than I expected. My dad and I made a script and wrote parts of it on a dry erase board so we could film bits at a time. Then, we put it together on our computer. We had to cut out a lot, because two minutes is not a lot of time to explain something. Read more

YSC Blog Post 1 - Cheyenne

Hello, all!  This is my blog, in which I will be documenting my summer innovation project.  This is a very unique process for me, as I have never systematically "innovated" anything.

Since it's had a little while to sink in already, I don't get a rush of excitement every time someone mentions 3M or Discovery Education.  However, it's still overwhelming that I am one of the ten finalists from the nation.  When I received the phone call notifying me that I was a finalist, I spent several days half-expecting another call to come, saying that there was an error.  But now I'm extremely eager to get started on the project. Read more

Week 1- Shawn Farmand

I have been interested in different fields of science and research all of my life. After I won first place in my school science fair, The Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science competition, and a First Honorable Mention at the Montgomery County Research Competition for my experiment in sound  barriers, the science fair organizer  e-mailed me the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge link. I looked it up online and was amazed by the whole idea of it, so I decided to enter! Read more

Week 1- Braeden Benedict

Welcome, everybody, to the Young Scientist Challenge Blog!

I will be posting to this blog throughout the summer, keeping you updated on my summer project. I’m very excited to be one of the top ten finalists for the Young Scientist Challenge sponsored by Discovery Education and 3M.

Day 1 Introduction Part 1

Day 1 Introduction Part 2 Read more

YSC Opening Blog Post - Jack Andraka

I am so excited to be a finalist for this competition! I was inspired to enter this competition after my science teacher told me about the challenge since I am extremely passionate about science and math.

Making the video was so exciting because I learned so many new concepts in science and math. It was really enjoyable to discover how to present to the world my solution and it was fascinating to see all of these new experiences while creating my movie. I was so nervous while I waited for the announcement of the winners and when I got the call I was so happy I was jumping up and down because I had worked so hard and I could now discuss this science with the world's leading innovators. Read more