Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge

SOEL_Logo_FinalYou all know that I love science and innovation so I am beyond excited to share a fabulous science competition with you all! This isn’t a normal “science fair” competition but a competition that focuses purely on innovation and ideas.

The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge is obviously sponsored by 3M, a company that knows about innovation. It is for students that are in 5th to 8th grade. Basically students create a 1-2 minute video that are all about new innovative solution for an every day project. (You can get all the entry details here)

The prize is $25,000 and a trip to Costa Rica but that isn’t what excited me the most. The top 10 finalists receive $1000 and the get to participate in a summer mentorship with a scientist where they will try to take the students idea into reality. I wish I could enter;).

I love the angle of this competition! It isn’t limited by the student’s current science knowledge but their imagination! And that is a big part of what science is but isn’t really taught in school. The goal of many scientists is to implement an idea that they had. You can start with a spark, then learn all the specific science and technology information to implement.

In this competition the research is done to see the scope of the problems and current attempted solutions that aren’t fully successful. They can focus on the need and holes in the current markets to find what is truly missing. Then come up with an idea. The finalists will have time with scientists to refine it and look at the more technical side.

This realization (dream it then learn to make it) is the reason apps and app development has sky rocketed but I don’t think people realize that the same model can be taken into a more hard science and mechanics world. I wish this was an aspect of science that was presented to students more! I thought you had to know all the science in a field before you could start innovating. Which also explains the boring nature of my childhood science fair projects;).

I also love that it isn’t tied to a school so it makes it easy for homeschoolers to enter;). But entries have to be in by April 22, 2014 so don’t wait!  And make sure you join us for #STEMchat on Twitter April 8 from 9 – 10 PM Eastern as we talk about How to Raise America’s Top Young Scientist!

(Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for the competition by Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. But all opinions are mine! So go do some science!)

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