Discovery Education and 3M Announce National Semifinalists in Young Scientist Challenge

(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:

About the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge

The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge targets students in the years when research indicates their interest in science begins to wane and encourages them to explore scientific concepts and creatively communicate their findings. In January, students nationwide were asked to create a short video describing a new innovation or solution that could solve or impact an everyday problem related to the way we move, keep ourselves healthy or make a difference. In addition to the 10 finalists, 42 students were selected as state merit winners in this year's competition and will each receive a 3M Innovation Prize Package. For more information go to

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

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 or follow @3MNews on Twitter.