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!

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.

Mary Brown

Mentor
With expertise in product development, commercialization, project management, and application engineering, Mary utilizes her skills to educate those around her on the technologies used in our favorite household products.

Tesha Alston Dampier

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

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.

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. Ann Fornof

Mentor
As an inventor with more than 25 granted patents, Dr. Ann Fornof brings practical knowledge of technology development to help 3M business divisions commercialize its innovative products.

Sara Frisco

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

Anne Gold

Mentor
When it comes to developing products and business concepts, Anne is no stranger to complexity and ambiguity. Driven to create communities that foster success, Anne leads teams across functions and technologies to take ideas from concept to reality.

John Henderson

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

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.

Dr. Kannan Seshadri

Mentor
Kannan is a serial inventor-innovator who thrives on translating new ideas and consumer insights to commercialization. His expertise in materials science and manufacturing brings a proven track record in product commercialization, new-to-world technology, and manufacturing process development.

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.

Jonah Shaver

Mentor
“Protecting the sensors of an autonomous vehicle is like protecting one’s eyesight,” just ask Jonah Shaver, Ph.D. and product development specialist at 3M.

Dr. Kris Thunhorst

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

Dr. Patrick Zimmerman

Mentor
Patrick brings a unique expertise and background that spans across automotive, adhesives, aerospace, and beyond. He has a wealth of knowledge and leadership skills and is known as a mentor to those he works with.