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National Science Competition Searches for America's Top Young Scientists

- Middle School Students Paired with Real-World Scientist Mentors to Compete for $25,000 and other prizes in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge –

(Silver Spring, Md. and St. Paul, Minn.) - Discovery Education and 3M are proud to announce the 2011 call for entries for the 13th annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, the nation’s premier science competition for students in grades 5th through 8th. Ten finalists will be selected to receive an all-expense paid trip to the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn. to compete in the final challenge in October, 2011. The winner will receive $25,000 and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”

According to the latest results from the 2009 National Assessment of Education Progress, less than half of U.S. students are proficient in science. The decline begins in 4th grade with 34 percent performing at or above the proficient level and decreases to 30 percent of eighth-graders and 21 percent of twelfth-graders. To help cultivate our nation’s next generation of great thinkers and innovators and keep them interested in STEM-related issues, Discovery Education and 3M have teamed up once again to reward students for their science acumen and curiosity, while encouraging them to share that passion by creatively communicating their findings through this national science competition.

Scientists around the world rely on communication to help solve scientific problems and transform creative ideas into innovative solutions. For this reason, middle school students residing in the United States are asked to create a one to two-minute video communicating the science behind a possible solution for an everyday problem related to one of the following categories:

  • The Way We Move
  • The Way We Keep Ourselves Healthy
  • The Way We Make a Difference

For additional information on the video topics, click here.

New to this year’s competition, each of the ten finalists will have an exclusive opportunity to work directly with a 3M scientist during a summer mentorship program where each finalist will be challenged to create an innovation that solves a problem in society. As part of the mentorship, the students will virtually meet with their mentor and will receive resources and support provided by 3M and Discovery Education, the leading provider of high quality curriculum-based digital content.

Reviewed by a panel of judges, all video entries for the 2011 science competition will be evaluated on the basis of creativity, scientific knowledge, persuasiveness and overall presentation. Videos will not be judged on production skills and may be recorded on cell phones or basic digital cameras. All video entries must be submitted online at www.youngscientistchallenge.com no later than April 15, 2011.

For more information on the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, including submission guidelines, tips from previous winners and complete rules, please visit: www.youngscientistchallenge.com.

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 www.3m.com or follow @3MNews on Twitter.

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 www.discoveryeducation.com.

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