Discovery Communications Announces Partners for the 2008 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge

(Silver Spring, Md.) — Discovery Communications proudly announces that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Governors Association and Science Olympiad have signed on as partners for this year's Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. All three organizations will join Discovery Education and 3M with the common goal of engaging and inspiring every middle school student in America to explore science and communicate their findings by entering the 2008 Young Scientist Challenge.

"Joining forces with these prominent national associations is a great way to mark the 10th year of the Young Scientist Challenge, the nation's premier science competition for middle schoolers," said Carrie Passmore, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Social Responsibility for Discovery Communications. "We are proud to have NASA, NGA and Science Olympiad participate in fulfilling our mission of inspiring the next generation of scientific leaders."

In its 10th year, the Young Scientist Challenge is introducing a new and exciting entry mechanism for students, which will highlight their ability to innovatively use everyday technology to communicate basic scientific knowledge to their peers. This year, students are creating short videos to demonstrate their understanding of a scientific concept, modeling the same techniques creative educators across the country use when they employ digital media to convey critical or complex concepts to students. All fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders are eligible to enter. In July, 51 semifinalists, one from each state and Washington, D.C., will be announced. Ten finalists then will be selected to travel to Washington, D.C., October 4th through 7th, to compete for the title of "America's Top Young Scientist."

"NASA is excited to partner with Discovery Education and 3M for the 2008 Young Scientist Challenge," said Jim Stofan, Deputy Administrator for Education Integration, NASA. NASA will host the competition finals on October 5th and 6th at Goddard Space Center in Greenbelt, Md. fitting into this year's theme "The Science of Space." NASA Education's programs strive to reach and connect with youth, and to excite and inspire them into becoming the next generation of scientists, inventors, technicians, and explorers.

NGA is proud to be a part of the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge to encourage the exploration of science among America's youth and promote the importance of STEM education. "Identifying, motivating, and training tomorrow's workforce in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is critical to preserving America's competitive edge in the 21st century economy," said John Thomasian, Director of the NGA Center for Best Practices. "We think the Young Scientist Challenge is an ideal vehicle to spark these interests in middle school students." NGA will engage governors across the country to encourage students in their respective states to participate in the challenge.

Science Olympiad joins the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge in identifying the nation's great middle school science communicators and nominating them for consideration to compete for the title of "America's Top Young Scientist." Since 1984, Science Olympiad has been dedicated to improving the quality of K-12 science education, increasing interest in the sciences, creating a technologically literate workforce, and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by both students and teachers. "The ability to present science, technology, engineering and math concepts in layman's terms to a wide audience—in person, not just in writing—is a valuable skill in today's world," said Dr. Gerard Putz, President and Co-Founder of Science Olympiad.

"3M's sponsorship of the Young Scientist Challenge aligns two powerful brands deeply committed to educating the next generation of scientific thinkers," said Bill Goodwyn, President of Discovery Education. "Together, 3M and Discovery Education hope to nurture and encourage middle school students' interest in scientific inquiry as they approach high school and college."

For more information or to enter the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, visit

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

About 3M

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

About NASA

For fifty years, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has helped to pioneer America's future through its bold space exploration missions and scientific and aeronautics research activities. For more information, visit

About NGA

Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association is the collective voice of the nation's governors and one of Washington, D.C.'s most respected public policy organizations. Its members are the governors of the 50 states, three territories and two commonwealths. NGA provides governors and their senior staff members with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues to developing and implementing innovative solutions to public policy challenges through the NGA Center for Best Practices. For more information, visit

About Science Olympiad

Fulfilling a desire to bring excitement to science education and competitions, Science Olympiad was founded by educators Dr. Gerard Putz and Jack Cairns. What began as a grassroots assembly of science educators has now become the largest multi-discipline team science competition in the nation, with 5,300 teams competing in 47 states at the Division B & C level (grades 6-12) complemented by more than 10,000 competitive and non-competitive elementary programs. One of Science Olympiad's main goals is to bring academic competition to the same level of recognition and praise normally reserved for athletic contests. For more information about Science Olympiad, please see or call (630) 792-1251.

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