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Calling All Scientists: Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge Announces Call for Entries

3M Joins Discovery Education to Host Premier National Science Competition for all Middle School Students Nationwide

Silver Spring, MD (March 18, 2008) –Discovery Education and 3M have joined forces to present the 2008 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, which is officially open for submissions through June 15. 3M joins the Young Scientist Challenge, the nation's premier science competition for middle school students, as it heads into its 10th year of nurturing the next generation of American scientists. The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge reaches out to students during the critical years when research indicates that their interest in science begins to fade, encouraging them to explore everyday scientific concepts and creatively share their findings with peers.

In 1999, Discovery Communications launched the Young Scientist Challenge in response to evidence that academic performance and interest among American students declines dramatically beginning in middle school. The Young Scientist Challenge is open to all 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders nationwide.

"The Young Scientist Challenge is an example of Discovery Education's longstanding commitment to science education," said Bill Goodwyn, President of Discovery Education. "This competition is especially important for students who were enthusiastic about science in elementary school, and who need encouragement to deepen their interest in scientific inquiry as they approach high school and college."

3M is, at its core, a science-based company committed to developing innovative technologies that produce thousands of imaginative products. This commitment has also fostered the desire to deepen an interest in the sciences and ignite a spirit of innovation in students nationwide. In addition to sponsoring the Young Scientist Challenge through 2010, 3M is providing 200 schools across the country access to Discovery Education Science, the comprehensive multimedia resource that supplements existing school curriculum with high-quality digital science content in a flexible online format.

3M is, at its core, a science-based company committed to developing innovative technologies that produce thousands of imaginative products. This commitment has also fostered the desire to deepen an interest in the sciences and ignite a spirit of innovation in students nationwide. In addition to sponsoring the Young Scientist Challenge through 2010, 3M is providing 200 schools across the country access to Discovery Education Science, the comprehensive multimedia resource that supplements existing school curriculum with high-quality digital science content in a flexible online format.

As a diversified technology company, 3M understands the value of science and math education supporting youth development. For decades, 3M scientists and engineers have shared their enthusiasm for science and sparked student interest in science careers through several 3M-sponsored Science Encouragement Programs: Science Training Encouragement Program (STEP); Visiting Wizards; Technical Teams Encouraging Career Horizons (TECH); and Teachers Working in Science and Technology (TWIST).

A student's innovative use of everyday technology to communicate scientific knowledge is a key component of the 2008 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. Since its inception, the competition's philosophy has been that scientific knowledge is most valuable and effective when shared. As part of their entry, this year's Young Scientist Challenge competitors will shoot short videos demonstrating their understanding of a scientific concept, modeling the same techniques creative educators across the country use when they employ digital media to convey critical or complex concepts to students.

In the past nine years, more than 540,000 middle school students have been nominated to participate in the competition and nine exceptional young people have been honored as "America's Top Young Scientist of the Year"—the student who has the best understanding of, and ability to communicate, key scientific concepts. Winners have gone on to appear on local and national television, speak in front of members of Congress, work with the nation's top scientists and pursue academic careers in science.

Submission Process

In order to enter, students must be in grades 5 through 8, residing in the United States, and must submit a video entry online at www.discoveryeducation.com/youngscientist. The competition is open for entries between now and June 15, 2008. Students will be challenged to create a one- to two-minute video about a specific scientific concept, which they will select from a list of concepts provided by the Young Scientist Challenge judges. All concepts will relate to the 2008 Young Scientist Challenge theme, "The Science of Space." Each entry must demonstrate the student's understanding of the scientific concept explained and his or her comfort level discussing science in general.

Videos do not need to be "produced," as judges are not evaluating production skills. Videos may be recorded on cell phones or simple digital cameras, for example. In addition, local libraries and schools may be able to loan cameras to students. Videos will be screened to determine whether they meet all entry requirements and will then be presented to a panel of online judges.

During the summer, judges will review the video submissions and choose 51 semifinalists: one from each state and Washington, D.C. Winning entries will be based on the average of scores awarded by a panel of judges who will be evaluating creativity, persuasiveness, classroom suitability and content standards.

The Finals
In the fall, 10 finalists will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the competition finals, consisting of a series of individual and team challenges, some of them in front of a live audience. These age-appropriate challenges are developed and administered by Steve Jacobs, a science educator and the Young Scientist Challenge's head judge.

Finalists will be judged on their communication and scientific problem solving skills. At the end of the competition, America's Top Young Scientist will be awarded a $50,000 savings bond (Valued at $25,000 USD). Other finalists will receive secondary prizes.

For more information about the 2008 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge or to enter the competition, visit www.DiscoveryEducation.com/YoungScientist.

For more information on Discovery Education Science, or any other products and services from Discovery Education, please visit www.discoveryeducation.com or call 800-323-9084.

About Discovery Education

Discovery Communications revolutionized television with the Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education. Powered by the #1 non-fiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services. Explore the future of education at www.DiscoveryEducation.com.

About 3M

A recognized leader in research and development, 3M produces thousands of innovative products for dozens of diverse markets. 3M's core strength is applying its more than 40 distinct technology platforms—often in combination—to a wide array of customer needs. With $24 billion in sales, 3M employs 75,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 60 countries.

Contact Info:

Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
240-662-2893
stephen_wakefield@discovery.com

Charlene Blohm, C. Blohm & Associates
608-839-9800
charlene@cblohm.com

Glenn Carter, 3M
651-737-0687
gacarter1@mmm.com

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