About the Challenge

The ultimate middle school science competition

Cultivating the next generation of scientists

Hear directly from 3M Scientist Mentors about the important role of mentorship in the Young Scientist Challenge.

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The 3M Young Scientist Challenge is the nation’s premier science competition for grades 5-8. This one-of-a-kind video competition has sparked a sense of wonder and discovery in hundreds of thousands of students and enhanced science, innovation and communication across the United States.

When first launched by Discovery Communications in 1999, the Young Scientist Challenge had the same mission it does today: to foster a new generation of American scientists at an age when interest in science generally declines. In 2008, Discovery Education joined forces with 3M – one of the world’s most notable innovators – to cultivate the next generation of problem-solvers and give students the unique opportunity to work directly with 3M scientists.

Desktop Calendar Outlining Dates

Important Dates

Understand the key dates and process of the yearly competition.

Girls working on project


Review Official Rules for the 2022 Young Scientist Challenge.

2015 Finalists and Winner Holding Prize Check


Take a quick peek at the incredible prizes you could win if you enter the Young Scientist Challenge.

Judges deliberating at 2015 Final Event


Explore the Young Scientist Challenge judging criteria.

Lots of hands, holding up brightly colored question marks.


Find answers to some of our most commonly asked questions about the competition.

Young Scientist Challenge Kudos
The best part of the Young Scientist Challenge was working with a 3M scientist. Working with a mentor allowed me to learn many things from a scientist who works in labs first hand, and apply it to my project, and future science projects."
Anika Bhagavatula
2017 National Finalist