Top Ten Reasons to Participate

These are our favorite reasons to enter the Young Scientist Challenge, but there are plenty more.  Read on and be inspired.

  1. The grand prize is $25,000 and an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime trip!
  2. Finalists get to work one-on-one with renowned 3M scientists – a mentoring experience they’ll never forget.
  3. Friendship! Lots of competitors and finalists share a passion for science activities and remain friends long after the competition is over.
  4. Learning goes way beyond classroom walls and into the real world of innovating.
  5. Competitors’ ideas and innovations can make a real difference in the world!
  6. Finalists present their video competition ideas to a distinguished panel of judges.
  7. No textbooks! This is original, outside-the-box dreaming, planning and innovating.
  8. Finalists get an exclusive look inside modern science innovation at 3M – including meeting 3M’s executives and patented scientists!
  9. Being part of the science community is fun. Plus, this video competition is one science activity that makes a big impact on college résumés and essays.
  10. You could be (drum roll, please)… America’s next Top Young Scientist!

Long term benefits

Participating in the Young Scientist Challenge offers academic, personal and social benefits that extend well beyond the contest framework.  See what some of our past winners have accomplished since winning their titles.

2018 Winner Rishab Jain has continued to excel in the field of science. Since being crowned America’s Top Young Scientist:

  • Rishab has started his own non-profit to support other students interested in STEM
  • Rishab was named one of ‘Time’s 25 Most Influential Teens’ in 2018
  • Rishab has appeared on Good Morning America
  • Rishab was awarded Vincitore Assoluto (Absolute Winner) by the Giuseppe Sciacca Foundation in Vatican City in 2019.

2017 Winner Gitanjali Rao has been busy since claiming the title! Some of her most notable accomplishments include:

  • Gitanjali is a 3-time Tedx Speaker
  • Gitanjali was awarded the United States Environmental Protection Agency President’s Environmental Youth Award in 2018
  • Gitanjali was featured in Google’s docuseries called “Search On”
  • Gitanjali was featured in Forbes 30 under 30- Science 2019
  • Gitanjali is a member of Marvel’s ‘Hero Project’"

2016 Winner Maanasa Mendu has received many additional honors since winning the Top Young Scientist title.

  • Maanasa was honored in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Energy Class of 2017.
  • She also received honors from the Ohio State EPA, SPIE, House of Representatives and more.

2015 Winner Hannah Herbst's accomplishments have only continued since she was named America's Top Young Scientist. Here are just a few!

  • Hannah was honored in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Energy Class of 2018
  • Hannah has delivered speeches at the Social Innovation Summit, National Science Olympiad Competition, The UN STI Forum and more!
  • Hannah exhibited her research at the 2016 White House Science Fair and was named one President Obama’s Favorite Science Projects by Wired Magazine
  • Hannah received the 2016 Congressional Award of Achievement
  • Hannah was named one of Huffington Post and Ford’s 20 Under 20 in STEAM

2014 Winner Sahil Doshi has participated in many life-changing events since he was named America's Top Young Scientist.

  • Sahil's project was spotlighted in the U.S. State Department's Exhibit at the UN Conference on Climate Change
  • Sahil was featured on leading media outlets such as NBC News, Fox and Friends, Wake Up with Al and others
  • Sahil was an honored guest at the 5th Annual White House Science Fair and presented his project to President Obama
  • Sahil hosted a live virtual Q&A from his hometown on his experience as a Young Scientist Challenge contestant.

2013 Winner Peyton Robertson became the youngest winner in the history of the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge and has since:

  • been honored in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Science Class of 2018
  • been featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, ABC World News, MSNBC, Fox & Friends, the Huffington Post, TED, NBC News, Wake Up with Al, Mashable, Wired, and others.
  • presented at the White House Science Fair at which the President of the United States stated "if you could buy stock in Peyton, do it now!"
  • served as a panelist alongside Grant Hill and Under Armour founder, Kevin Plank, at the NCAA Final Four Innovation Summit; and
  • received a Notice of Allowance on his first patent

2012 Winner Deepika Kurup has enjoyed many exciting opportunities since being crowned America’s Top Young Scientist.  Among her favorites:

  • giving an official TED talk at the TEDWomen Conference in 2016
  • an exclusive meeting with President Obama
  • an invitation to speak at the 3M Carlton Society 50th Anniversary Awards Event
  • winning 2013 U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize (runner up)
  • being featured on “Wake Up with Al” on The Weather Channel

Hear a special message from Deepika.

2011 Winner Braeden Benedict has continued his helmet impact sensors research since winning the Top Scientist title, earning him teacher recognition and many accolades:

  • 1st place in the Health and Medicine Category at the Palos Verdes Peninsula Science and Engineering Fair
  • Special Awards from Air Force and Office of Naval Research
  • 2nd Place in the Engineering Applications category at the Los Angeles County Science Fair
  • Southern California BioGENEius Challenge Winner
  • Honorable Mention in the category of Mammalian Biology at the California State Science Fair