We continue to be impressed with the caliber of kids making names for themselves in the Discovery Education/3M Young Scientist Challenge. The annual contest, open to students grades 5-8, launched in 1999 and has introduced the world to a slew of promising young minds.
And as I’ve stated before in this space, what impresses me most about these kids—beyond the confidence, intelligence and applied knowledge they display—is how nearly all of them seem to have been moved to action by a desire to solve some real-world problem.
For example, among this year’s top-10 projects are efforts to:
-help senior citizens safely navigate stairs
-help reduce stress among those with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and among their caregivers as well
-help people suffering with allergies
-help reduce the number of auto accidents caused by substance abuse
Help. Help. Help. What a marvelous approach to employing one’s gifts.
And they’re all still just kids.
Each of the finalists will spend the summer being mentored by a 3M scientist. In October, they’ll travel to 3M headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota to compete for the grand prize of $25,000 and the title America’s Top Young Scientist.
But you can meet them now by visiting the official Challenge web site.
—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio
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