Frequently Asked Questions

Entry Questions

Get all the answers you need to key questions about the 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

To enter, students need to submit a 1–2-minute video in which they describe a new innovation 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.
The competition is open to all legal U.S. residents who are students enrolled in 5th through 8th grade at a public, private, parochial, or home school located in one of the fifty United States or the District of Columbia.
In compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, Parental/Guardian consent is needed for any person under the age of 13 years to give personal information to a third party over the internet. In the case of our competition, each student's parent/guardian needs to grant consent for us to receive their entry.
Students may not submit as pairs or in groups—only individual submissions will be accepted.
Entry videos may not contain music unless created by the student or by someone who has given the entrant permission to use his/her music.
Many cell phones and digital cameras can be used to film a short video. Students who don't have access to either can check with their teacher, school media center, or local public library.
When a student's parent/guardian completed the required consent form and registration form, the student's username and a link to change their password were emailed to the student and his/her parent/guardian. Passwords can also be reset here.
Yes, you can find video submission instructions and entry topics here. It is also very important that each student reads and complies with the Official Rules and Regulations and Safety Guidelines. The official rules for the 2023 3M Young Scientist Challenge are posted here.
Helpful challenge tips and previous winners' videos are available to inspire your entry. Note: Entry criteria changes each year, so please read the guidelines carefully.

Students must have a user account to submit a video. Once a student's parent/guardian has completed the consent form and registration page the student will be able to submit a video file (MP4 format). Students should submit a video by April 27, 2023 at 8:00pm ET. Before uploading your video, be sure it meets the following criteria:

  1. Your video only contains your original ideas and work.
  2. Your video does not have copyrighted or trademarked content.
  3. Please make sure the title of your video is "3MYSC Submission—[Your Title]".
  4. Your video is between 1-2 minutes in length.

Any video that does not meet this criteria will be disqualified from the challenge. Questions? Email us at YSC@DiscoveryEd.com

Yes, students can log into their account and add a new video file to their saved entry prior to April 27, 2023 at 8:00pm ET. Once a new file has been provided, the new file will overwrite the old file associated with the student's account.

Judging Questions

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.

Enries that follow all of the rules and regulations will be ranked based on the average of scores awarded by a panel of judges using the following rubric:

  • Creativity (ingenuity and innovative thinking) (30%)
  • Scientific knowledge (30%)
  • Persuasiveness and effective communication (20%)
  • Overall presentation (20%)
The video competition is judged by a field of experts in science and communication including current and former teachers, scientists, and representatives from school districts across the country.
Students will be contacted via phone and/or email in early June if they are selected as a Finalist. State Merit Winners will be notified in mid-June.

Summer Mentorship Questions

Finalists will receive a summer assignment to develop an innovation to be completed under the mentorship of a 3M scientist.

Final Event Questions

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 each year, but is subject to change.

Prizing Questions

At the end of the competition, America's Top Young Scientist will be awarded $25,000, and other finalists will receive exciting prizes.

Sample prizing for winners includes:

Honorable Mention (up to 4 awarded—one from each grade band)

  • 3M Young Scientist Challenge swag bag and a 3M Young Scientist Challenge Honorable Mention certificate.

State Merit Winners (up to 51—one from each State and the District of Columbia)

  • A Technology Prize Pack

Finalists (10)

  • Participation in a unique summer mentorship with a 3M scientist
  • A Technology Prize Pack
  • A trip to the Final Event for the student and ONE parent/guardian
  • $1,000
  • A Contest Medal
  • An invitation to join the 3M Young Scientist Challenge Alumni Network, which brings together Finalists and mentors from the first year of the 3M and Discovery Education partnership in 2008 through the latest Challenge year.

Improving Lives Award

  • $2,000

Two Runner-Up Prizes

  • $2,000 to be applied to an adventure of the winner’s choice

Grand Prize

  • $25,000
  • $2,000 to be applied to an adventure of the winner’s choice
  • A Contest Trophy
  • The title of "America's Top Young Scientist 2023"
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.