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Carolyn - As I Begin to Reflect...

Inspiration

So far, the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge has been an amazing experience.  Although I have enjoyed so many aspects of this competition, one of my favorite parts, by far, has been working with a real 3M scientist.

This is my first time working with a professional research scientist, and Dr. Maria Appeaning has been awesome.  She is very supportive and has gone out of her way to help me whenever she can.  So far, my mentor has helped me by brainstorming ideas, suggesting 3M products that could be of use in my innovation, obtaining many 3M products for me, and discussing the science behind various aspects of my project.  Her knowledge pertaining to these 3M products seems to be endless.

One thing I have experienced in doing research is that breakthroughs can happen at almost any time.  Some key changes I have made in my innovation, I thought of at the oddest times.  During this summer, I also learned (and re-learned) that scientists must be persistent.  Several times this summer things did not work as planned, and I see why work as a scientist is called REsearch.  But I also learned that work as a scientist can be very rewarding.  I am always so excited when a part of my project works at last.  Although designing my innovation has been fun, it is especially cool when my very own innovation is successful!

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