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Discovery Education and 3M Announce National Finalists in Young Scientist Challenge

-- Students Competing for $50,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds and Chance to Be Crowned "America's Top Young Scientist -- -- New York City to Play Host to Finalists as They Demonstrate Scientific Innovation --

(Silver Spring, Md. and St. Paul, Mn) — Today, Discovery Education and 3M announced 10 middle school students from around the nation as finalists in the 11th annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

Each finalist will be awarded an all-expenses paid trip to New York City to compete in the Young Scientist Challenge finals on October 6, 2009. The winner will receive $50,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds ($25,000 cash value) and the title of "America's Top Young Scientist." The competition finals will take place in New York City, where students will demonstrate their scientific innovation and creativity in a series of individual challenges focused on "The Science of Everyday Life."

Discovery Education and 3M are proud to announce the following 10 finalists (in alphabetical order):

  • Nate Bloom, Denver, CO, Hamilton Middle School*
  • Marina Dimitrov, Bozeman, MT, Sacajawea Middle School
  • Devin Dwyer, Northport, NY, Northport Middle School
  • Hugh Finch, Burrillville, RI, home schooled 
  • Nikita Gaurav, Beaverton, OR, Valley Catholic Middle School
  • Emily Grover, Lehi, UT, Eaglecrest Elementary School
  • Nicholas LaJoie, Van Buren, ME, Van Buren Middle School
  • Jason Liu, Hockessin, DE, Henry B. DuPont Middle School
  • Nico Seamons, Socorro, NM, Cottonwood Valley Charter School
  • Claire Sheen, Mountain Top, PA, MMI Preparatory School

"The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge emphasizes our company's commitment to science education," said David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery Communications. "These 10 finalists are examples of the next generation's ability to effectively communicate complex ideas and solutions, and Discovery is proud to be associated with 3M and saluting these young minds—minds that will ultimately propel the United States to leadership in science and technology."

Robert MacDonald, president, 3M Foundation, added, "Science is at the very heart of 3M, driving the pulse of innovation throughout our company on a global basis. We have a responsibility to foster interest and development in the innovators of our future, and our partnership with Discovery provides the ideal platform for students to demonstrate just how exciting the journey of learning can be."

As the nation's premier science competition for middle school students, the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge targets students in the years when research indicates their interest in science begins to fade and encourages them to explore scientific concepts and creatively communicate their findings. In January, students nationwide were asked to create a one- to two-minute video about a specific scientific concept that relates to innovative solutions for everyday life, such as how to reduce TV glare or how to lower heating/cooling bills. Last month, 50 semifinalists were selected based on their science communication skills exhibited in their videos. For more information on the challenge, including photos and ages of the 10 finalists, go to www.youngscientistchallenge.com

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Available in over half of all U.S. schools, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at

About 3M

3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms them into thousands of ingenious products. Our culture of creative collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies that make life better. 3M is the innovation company that never stops inventing. With $30 billion in sales, 3M employs 88,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit or follow @3MNews on Twitter.

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