Are Your Students Ready for the 3M Young Scientist Challenge?

3M YoungScientist Competition

In this episode of the TeacherCast Podcast, Jeff sits down with 3M Young Scientist Chalenge winner Hannah Herbst to discuss the importance not only of encouraging your students to take that next step into STEM Education but how to support your students when THEY are the ones directing their own learning and seeking your guidance.

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In This Episode …

  • Access to project-based learning resources can be extremely helpful to keep students focused and engaged during virtual learning.
  • The 3M Young Scientist Challenge provides middle school students with an opportunity to employ critical thinking to identify innovative solutions to real-world problems through a digital platform that is easy to access from anywhere.
  • All of the resources parents and educators need to support a student submitting an entry for the challenge, including idea starters, best practices from past finalists and step-by-step instructions. are available at and it only takes a 1 to 2-minute video to get the process started.
  • During this challenging time, Discovery Education and 3M are committed to supporting the next generation of young scientists by continuing with the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge and providing educational materials at no-cost to students across the United States. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have extended the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge Deadline through May 7, 2020.

About Hannah Herbst

Hannah Herbst has a passion for learning, solving problems, and helping others. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University High School in 2019, and is finishing her bachelor's degree at Florida Atlantic University in 2020.

Hannah won the 2015 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, earning the title of “America's Top Young Scientist”, was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2018, and was awarded first place and Best of Category at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in 2019. She has received 6 research grants from Florida Atlantic University and has delivered keynote addresses at the United Nations, USA Science and Engineering Festival, Social Innovation Summit, National Science Olympiad Competition, and World Science Festival. 

Hannah created an ocean energy probe prototype that seeks to offer a stable power source to developing countries using untapped energy from ocean currents. This innovation was inspired by Hannah's desire to help her nine-year-old penpal living in Sub-Saharan Africa, where many people live in energy poverty with sporadic or no access to electricity. In addition, Hannah has explored early identification methods for hazardous airborne chemicals in collaboration with I-SENSE at Florida Atlantic University, and is currently studying the properties of shark skin for medical applications at the Florida Atlantic Biomechanics Lab.

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About the 3M Young Scientist Challenge

If your students are in middle school, you can even take advantage of the opportunity to motivate them to turn one good idea into a one-of-a-kind opportunity to become America’s Top Young Scientist. 

The 3M Young Scientist Challenge is all about giving students a platform to put scientific innovation into practice for actual positive change in the world. You can cultivate your students’ passion for solving real-world problems by letting them explore solutions that are relevant to their own lives. Entering the Challenge is as easy as submitting a 1-2 minute video in which students: 

  1. Identify a real-world problem 
  2. Reveal an original solution 
  3. Explain how the solution can improve the world

It’s that simple! The Challenge Support Materials help make your efforts to encourage your students’ entries seamless, featuring everything you need to implement the Challenge in your classroom, in English or in Spanish.

The top 10 Finalists will each receive a life-changing summer-long mentorship with a 3M scientist, a trip to the 3M World HQ and $1,000. The Grand Prize winner will be named “America's Top Young Scientist” and receive $25,000! Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have extended the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge Deadline through May 7, 2020 

Whether your students choose to enter the Challenge or explore the hands-on STEM resources, the 3M Young Scientist Lab is your one-stop for integrating real-world problem-solving in your classroom.  

For more information, visit

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