~Middle Schoolers Across the Country Compete in Premier National Science Competition~
(Silver Spring, Md.) — The search for America's Top Young Scientist continued today as Discovery Education and 3M announced the names of 44 middle school students from around the nation selected as semifinalists in the 2008 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge (YSC).
"The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge encourages students to make science come alive for their peers in an interactive, entertaining way, and we are extremely pleased with the entries for this year's competition. These students represent the future of science in America, and we're proud to support them in pursuit of science excellence," said Bill Goodwyn, President of Discovery Education. "Together with our partner 3M, we are looking to cultivate and nurture the next generation of American scientists."
In its 10th year, the YSC introduced a new entry mechanism for students, challenging their ability to innovatively use everyday technology to communicate basic scientific concepts. From camcorders to cell phones, YSC competitors chose any technology available to create two-minute videos demonstrating their understanding of scientific concepts provided by Discovery Education and 3M. Concepts revolved around this year's theme, "The Science of Space," and included the Doppler Effect, Parabola, Why Earth's Sky Appears Blue, Orbital Paths, Magnetic Fields, the Bernoulli Principle and the Venturi Effect. Entries were evaluated based on student ability to understand and effectively communicate the meaning of their chosen concept, not on the sophistication of their video production. The competition was open to all middle school students across the country.
Recognizing the importance teachers play in students' lives, Discovery Education and 3M added a teacher component to the competition that follows the same premise as the student challenge this year. With the goal of finding the nation's top science teacher, the YSC challenged teachers to make their own videos on space concepts including Newton's Laws of Motion, Acceleration, Aeronautics, Centrifugal and Centripetal Force, and Scope and Scale.
The countdown to choosing America's Top Young Scientist continues next month, when on August 20, the YSC judges will narrow the field of 44 student semifinalists (representing 43 states and the District of Columbia) down to the top 10 student finalists, and will also announce the top five teacher finalists. Top finalists will come to Washington, D.C. in October, where they will take part in a series of team-based, interactive challenges focused on the science of space. NASA will host the competition finals on October 5 and 6 at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The students will compete for a $50,000 U.S. Savings Bond ($25,000 cash value), cash and special prizes, as well as the title of "America's Top Young Scientist of the Year."
The full list of 44 semifinalists, their hometowns and schools can be found at: www.DiscoveryEducation.com/YoungScientist.
About Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge
The Young Scientist Challenge is the nation's premier science competition for middle schoolers. The YSC targets students in the years when research indicates their interest in science begins to fade and encourages them to explore scientific concepts and creatively communicate their findings. As a way to further reinforce its longstanding commitment to scientific innovation, 3M came on board this year as the Presenting Sponsor of the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. In addition, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Governors Association, National 4-H Council, and Science Olympiad have signed on as partners for this year's YSC. All four organizations join Discovery Education and 3M with the common goal of engaging and inspiring every middle school student in America to explore science and share their findings.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Communications revolutionized television with the Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education. Powered by the #1 non-fiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services. Explore the future of education at www.DiscoveryEducation.com.
A recognized leader in research and development, 3M produces thousands of innovative products for dozens of diverse markets. 3M's core strength is applying its more than 40 distinct technology platforms - often in combination - to a wide array of customer needs. With $24 billion in sales, 3M employs 75,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 60 countries. For more information, visit www.3m.com.
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Glenn Carter, 3M