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.
Making the entry video was more fun than any other project I've ever done. A video has the capability to display so much in such a short time that it seemed to be the perfect way to express my idea and creation. The only problem that I ran into was trying to condense the video into under two minutes - if I could have I would of used up a half hour! I did however enjoy figuring out how to add sounds, effects, and animation to create my finished product. All in all, I definitely think that the long hours and late nights I spent on this project paid off; if I hadn't persisted, I wouldn't have gotten this amazing opportunity!
As I was waiting to hear the big finalist announcement, I felt a mixture of excitement and nervousness. Despite the fact that this was a national contest, I had felt fairly confident at first. As May turned into June, however, I began doubting that I was selected, for I assumed that the finalists had already been notified. Then, when I received the phone call announcing that I had been picked, I was ecstatic! This experience was a lesson for me not to give up hope too early, and not to lose confidence in myself. Being selected as a finalist for a national contest like this was such an honor. It also inspired and motivated me, for the contest wasn't over yet, and I had an exciting, yet challenging path ahead of me. I now have the new opportunity to share my ideas for innovation in an even bigger way, and I plan on taking advantage of this chance. I am very thankful to Discovery Education and 3M for coordinating this contest and for giving me this amazing opportunity. It means a lot to me that they believed in the minds of kids my age.
I honestly think that all of the participants in the Young Scientist Challenge have an excellent chance of winning. If I were lucky enough to win, I would be honored and thrilled! I would definitely want to put the cash prize towards my education, especially after seeing the amazing work done by scientists at 3M who got their foundation from a good education. I would also want to donate some of that money to a worthy cause, because after being given so many opportunities through this contest, I'd feel selfish not to share that good fortune with others. Also, if I were to win the contest, I would want to use the experience that I received through working on and presenting my invention to impact the world in the future. I already feel that talking with real scientists and working on an actual innovation has helped broaden my perspective and bring to light all that science and hard work can bring to the world.
My family, friends, and I are all very excited about my being a finalist and this opportunity that I have. I can't wait to really dive into my summer project, and to then share my ideas with the world in October! Thank you!