About The Challenge

Annual Video Competition

The 3M Young Scientist Challenge gives students in grades 5–8 the chance to change their world for the better with a single innovative idea. This premier science competition is a one-of-a-kind project-based learning opportunity designed to spark creativity, collaboration, and connection for students from every background.

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Entering the Competition

Inspire scientific exploration and innovation in any learning environment with comprehensive challenge resources that guide students through the submission process.


Get Started

Kickstart student entries with easy-to-use challenge tools.

Review challenge details below and get started by registering students. You’ll receive email updates about upcoming deadlines and helpful challenge tips.

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Tackle real-world challenges that students care about.

Use the Entry Topics to hone-in on an issue that is meaningful to students, along with a variety of other challenge resources that provide a flexible framework to facilitate student submissions.

Challenge Entry Topics


Ensure student submissions are ready to go.

After students have created their 1–2 minute video, make sure that they’re all set to submit by reviewing the Challenge Checklist.

Finalize Student Entries

Challenge Details

The 3M Young Scientist Challenge invites students to create an original solution to an existing problem for the chance to win a 3M mentorship and more.

Rules & Prizes

  • Grand Prize Winner $25,000

    Title of “America’s Top Young Scientist”

  • Top 10 Finalists $1,000

    Unique Summer Mentorship with a 3M Scientist

  • State Merit Winners

    (up to 51 awarded)
    Technology Prize Packs & Certificate

  • Honorable Mention Winners

    (one per grade awarded)

  • Improving Lives Award Winner $2,000

    Awarded to the Finalist with most votes during public voting window

  • School with the most entries

    Special recognition in press releases and at the Final Event

View Rules


  • Challenge Opens

    December 7, 2022

  • Challenge Closes

    April 27, 2023

  • Finalist and State Merit Winner Announcements

    June 2023

  • Final Event

    October 2023

  • Winners Announced

    October 2023

View Challenge Resources

Video Judging

  • Creativity (30% of Score)

    Ingenuity and innovative thinking.

  • Scientific Knowledge (30% of Score)

    Apply STEM principles to real challenges.

  • Persuasiveness and Effective Communication (20% of Score)

    Demonstrate passion and research.

  • Overall Presentation (20% of Score)

    Connect all the dots to inspire others.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Peruse these common queries about entering the challenge.

To enter, students need to submit a 1-2 minute video in which they describe a new invention or solution that could solve or impact an everyday problem that directly affects them, their families, their communities, and/or the global population. Get ideas from this year’s entry topics.
Videos do NOT need to be "produced" or have high production value. Judges are not evaluating production skills. Videos may be recorded on cell phones or simple digital cameras, for example. In addition, local libraries and schools may be able to loan cameras to students. 
The top 10 Finalists will receive a summer assignment to develop a prototype to be completed under the mentorship of a 3M scientist. 
Students may not submit as pairs or in groups—only individual submissions will be accepted.
Ten student finalists will each give a presentation based on their work in the summer mentorship program, and participate in a series of scored challenges to demonstrate their scientific knowledge. The event is anticipated to take place in October 2023, but this date is subject to change.
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Moitri Santra

Moitri Santra

Finalist 2021

This challenge was a fantastic opportunity to integrate myself more into the world of brain computer interfaces and how they can be applied in early diagnosis and treatment.