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My summer mentorship journey so far

So far my summer mentorship program has been going great and I've learned so much about science and my passion for science, engineering, technology, and math has swelled to greater proportions. The best part about the process so far has probably been bouncing ideas off of my mentor and beginning to think like a scientist. The most challenging part of my summer mentorship program has been having to think outside the box about innovations and how to test them. It was really challenging to begin thinking about innovations for this competition instead of the typical university research that I do for science fairs. Read more

Young Scientist Challenge Week 9

I will upload a new video blog when I get my materials next week!

As of now, this is just pretty much writing. So far the best part of the process so far has been the research. There are so many different ways people could use a potential product and each approach has its own unique quality. When I get my prototype parts then it'll take me quite a while to program and to get it functionally operating within a few weeks. In the mean time, I will start building my presentation as I've had a great deal of time to think about my innovation and expand it. Read more

Young Scientist Challenge: Narrowing Down Ideas

At the moment, I'm in the middle of what is perhaps the most difficult part of the scientific process: choosing a topic. Basically, I have to identify a current issue in our world and brainstorm about solutions to that problem that could come about through an innovation that I will be creating. This task of deciding on an issue has proved more difficult than expected, mainly because the entire rest of my project will be based upon the foundation of this topic. After much thought and research, I realized that there are many small issues and inconveniences in our daily lives, but what I want to address are the bigger problems of our world, and how our lives play into them. I want my innovation to put a dent into issues that affect nations, economies, and the environment. I know that this may be broad thinking, but I figure that unless something is strived for, it will never be achieved. Read more

Young Scientist Challenge Blog 3: Deciding on a Issue/Solution

After narrowing down what current issues I wanted my invention to deal with, I was then faced with the question of how to solve them. For me, this was the fun part of my brainstorming process because I got to use creativity and imagination, and think beyond the boundaries of what has already been created and what is commonplace. In order to develop solutions to the problems I had selected, I tried to think about exactly why the issues had occurred in the first place, and what innovations could eliminate those issues. I also thought about how I could fit the solution into the average person's everyday life. When taking these things into consideration, I was able to develop stronger, more plausible solutions.  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

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

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

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

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