Annual Challenge

Challenge Participants

The 2019 3M Young Scientist Challenge Finalists and State Merit Winners have been announced! Use the tabs below to check out their big ideas and explore all finalists, winners, mentors and judges!

Dr. Mahfuza Ali

Mentor
Dr. Ali has developed a number of technologies including specialty thermoplastic and PSA polymers, quaternary monomers/polymers, ink-receptive polymers and surface modification.

Tesha Alston

Mentor
Through effective problem solving and opportunity-mining, Tesha Alston has excelled in various roles—from biochemistry to engineering—over the past 14 years at 3M.

Greg Anthony

Judge
In his career with Collier County Public Schools, Greg Anthony has authored and revised several Collier curricula, including STEM curriculum for Advanced Physical Science.

Dr. Maria Appeaning

Mentor
Examples of Dr. Appeaning's work include the synthesis of novel dental monomers with 's Dental Health Care Division ( ESPE) to developing antimicrobial coatings with 's Medical Division.

Dr. Alireza Asgari

Mentor
Dr. Asgari leads the development of innovative respiratory products, that protect the health and safety of millions of workers, all over the world.

Kandyce Bohannon

Mentor
Data and analytics are Kandyce Bohannon’s passion. This, she says, feeds her fascination for technology and helps her gain a greater understanding of human behavior.

Brian Butler

Judge
Originally from Virginia, Brian holds a specialist degree as well as an MAT degree from Georgia College and a B.S. in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma where his love for science was enhanced by the ability to chase tornadoes! Prior to education, Mr. Butler is proud to have served as a meteorologist in the United States Air Force with duty stations in Arizona and Mississippi before ending up in Georgia where he has lived since 2003.

Dr. Mary Caruso Dailey

Mentor
Dr. Dailey is currently working on adhesives for electronics bonding in 3M’s Industrial Adhesive and Tapes Division.

Dr. Döne Demirgöz

Mentor
Dr. Döne Demirgöz’s passion for science and engineering expands into many scientific areas at 3M. And when Dr. Demirgöz is not solving problems on the job, she’s inspiring and encouraging the next generation of young scientists through mentorship programs.

Dr. Kevin Eberman

Mentor
Dr. Eberman creates higher energy materials for batteries that power smart-phones, tablets, and electric vehicles.

Jeffrey Emslander

Mentor
From graphic films for vehicles and reflective materials on traffic signs to more energy-efficient construction materials, Jeffrey Emslander is helping to create a greener planet.

Dr. Belma Erdogan-Haug

Mentor
Dr. Erdogan-Haug serves as a volunteer tutor for students in St. Paul, MN area high school and is actively involved in mentoring students through the 3M Science Training Encouragement Program.

Dr. Ann Fornof

Mentor
Having filed for more than 25 patents, Dr. Ann Fornof brings practical knowledge of technology development to help 3M business divisions commercialize its innovative products.

Danny Forster

Judge
Danny Forster is the Chief Architecture and Engineering Expert for Discovery Education and helped make Build it Bigger one of the highest rated shows on the Science Channel.

Dr. Benton Free

Mentor
As a part of his role with the Electronics and Energy Group Laboratory, Dr. Free has worked on a diverse set of technologies.

Dr. Patrick Hager

Mentor
Dr. Hager has been instrumental in the invention and development of several key technologies including Command brand adhesives, simultaneous film orientation, surface structure and functionalization.

Dr. Cordell Hardy

Mentor
While a project developer for 3M's Consumer and Office business, Dr. Hardy guided the development of various adhesives, tapes, and home cleaning products.

Sara Hemmer

Mentor
Driven by her passion for disruptive technology platforms and innovation, Sara enjoys working on new product development, new technologies and intellectual property strategy.

John Henderson

Mentor
The impact of John Henderson’s work can be seen anywhere there’s been an impact – between vehicles, that is.

Dr. James Jonza

Mentor
Dr. Jonza is an inventor on over 45 patents, with more than 15 pending, and has authored 11 publications.

Dr. James M. Jonza

Judge
James completed his undergraduate studies in environmental and polymer chemistry at the State University of New York College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry and received his Ph.D. in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts.

Dr. James M. Jonza

Judge
For three decades, Dr. James M. Jonza has improved lives by pioneering technology advancements in films.

Dr. Suzanne Lacey

Judge
Under Dr. Lacey’s leadership, Talladega County Schools has implemented a comprehensive plan to increase student engagement and to integrate technology to support learning.

Dr. Delony Lager-Anderson

Judge
Dr. Langer-Anderson invents products for the healthcare industry, using science and imagination to make products more comfortable, durable or easy to use, helping people feel better every day.

Dr. Delony Langer-Anderson

Mentor
I have an awesome job. I come to work and use my imagination, education, and experience to translate ideas into physical products that people can use every day in their homes and at work.

Kirsten Mahovlich

Judge
Prior to joining CMSD, Kirsten Mahovlich worked as a laboratory technician in the instructional labs for the University of Toledo's Biology Department.

Margaux Mitera

Mentor
Collaboration is key to taking ideas further, and having the right tools can make all the difference.

Dr. Cindy Moss

Judge
Dr. Moss holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, master’s degree in science from Syracuse University and doctorate in science curriculum and instruction from the Curtin Institute of Technology in Perth, Western Australia.

Dr. Cindy Moss

Judge
As senior director of global STEM initiatives for Discovery Education, Dr.Moss designs, develops and implements initiatives to inspire students’ curiosity in STEM.

Christine Tucci Osorio

Judge
Christine serves on the Executive Board of the Association of Metro Area School Districts (AMSD) and serves as a board member for the Search Institute. She is dedicated to sharing leadership experiences with others and has worked with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) to mentor and coach fellow school superintendents in Puerto Rico. She has also recently served as the President of the Mid-American Association of School Superintendents, and currently co-chairs a Minnesota State Task Force on School Finance. She is deeply passionate about high school reform and is committed to lifting up the voices and leadership of young people as shared decision makers.

Dr. Joe Oxman

Mentor
With 81 issued patents and more than 20 pending, Oxman played a key role in revolutionizing the dental industry by helping to create tooth colored restorative filling materials to replace conventional metal fillings.

Dr. Joe Oxman

Judge
Currently a corporate scientist with 3M's Oral Care Division, Dr. Oxman has worked at 3M for 34 years and has 99 issued patents.

Sam Reiss

Mentor
3D printing is an exciting technological development that is helping change the way we live our lives. It’s even more exciting when you’re printing one of the most robust polymers humans have ever discovered.

Dr. Vasav Sahni

Mentor
Vasav identifies disruptive ideas that lead to new adhesive technologies and products.

Jacqueline Samuel

Judge
As an educator, she has studied conservation efforts in Ireland, served as an fellow for the Teachers for Global Classrooms, and helped develop instructional strategies for teachers in Jakarta and Ogan Ilir, Indonesia.

Dr. Matt Scholz

Judge
Dr. Scholz is an inventor on over 110 issued United States patents and has facilitated numerous healthcare products through to commercialization.

Dr. Kathleen Shafer

Mentor
Dr. Shafer helps convert corn and other plants into … plastics! Her molecular research in polymers helps turn interesting science into cool products that improve lives.

Mike Szydlowski

Judge
Mike Szydlowski works with 100 secondary science teachers and 400 elementary science teachers in developing engaging science curriculum, assessments, professional development, and opportunities that are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.

Dr. Kris Thunhorst

Mentor
Dr. Thunhorst collaborates closely between the Industrial Business Group Research and Development Laboratory to scout and research new technologies

Dr. Calvin Watts

Judge
Dr. Watts is the Assistant Superintendent in Gwinnett County Public Schools, the 14th largest distrcit in the nation, where he has served since 2001.

Dr. Martin Wolk

Mentor
Over the past 20 years, Dr. Wolk has worked on the application of micro- and nano-scale patterning techniques to potential 3M products for printing, displays and graphics.

Timothy S. Wyrosdick

Judge
Tim has a breadth of experience in Curriculum and Instruction administration and before being elected Superintendent of Santa Rosa County Schools in 2008, he served as Assistant Principal and Principal at Navarre High School and had a focus on Curriculum and Instruction.