Annual Challenge

Challenge Participants

The 2021 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

Judge
Dr. Ali is the inventor of several material technologies including specialty thermoplastic and pressure sensitive adhesive polymers, antistatic quaternary monomers and polymers, ink-receptive and paint blocking polymers and surface modification.

Julian Barnes

Judge
Mr. Barnes has served on many state committees in the review and refinement of content standards and various state science organizations, and is the current Vice President of Virginia Association of Science Teachers.

Dr. Mary Caruso Dailey

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

Amy Gensemer

Judge
Amy has 20 years of educational experience in Science, Technology, and Engineering in the classroom and now serves as the Senior Director for K-12 Digital Instruction at Discovery Education.

Jonathan Harper

Judge
In his career with Grand Rapids Public Schools, Mr. Harper has taught high school science including Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy, Bench Science, and AP Biology.

Dr. Alireza Kashef-Asgari

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

Kellie Lauth

Judge
Ms. Lauth opened one of the first K-8 STEM schools in the nation in 2011, serving public school children with no entrance requirement.

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.

Michael O'Toole

Judge
As the Coordinator of Science Curriculum for St. Vrain Valley Schools, Michael O’Toole is interested in promoting STEM Education and the use of technology in the classroom.

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.

LeAnn Simmerman

Judge
As an educator, LeAnn serves students and educators in grades K-12.  LeAnn is Co-President of the Tennessee Association for the Gifted, an affiliate of the National Association for Gifted Children.

Sherry Ulery

Judge
A former Reading/English Language Arts teacher who has taught grades 7 - 12, Ms. Ulery has also served in DC Public Schools and Cleveland Municipal School District.

Tonya Woolfolk

Judge
Tonya Woolfolk is a passionate science educator with many exploratory experiences that began in elementary school, which nurtured her passion for science.