Annual Challenge

Challenge Participants

The 2018 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.

Dr. Alireza Asgari

Mentor
Dr. Asgari brings the discipline of advanced numerical modeling to the business of creating innovative materials.

Dr. Brian Barnhart

Judge
Dr. Barnhart is in his sixteenth year as Superintendent of Western Springs School District #101 in Western Springs, IL, a 1500 student, pre-K through Grade 8 district in the near-west suburbs of Chicago.

Dr. Raha Been

Mentor
Dr. Been's work at 3M focuses on the development of advanced wound care technologies and products and holds a central role in 3M's future in regenerative medicine.

Dr. Olester Benson, Jr.

Judge
Dr. Benson is currently a Corporate Scientist in the 3M Corporate Research Process Laboratory and is a graduate of the University of Colorado.

Kandyce Bohannon

Mentor
Wearables and analytics are Kandyce Bohannon’s passion. As a 3M software architect, Kandyce analyzes human behavior to drive digital transformations that will keep workers safe around the world.

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
Applying her chemical engineering knowledge to different scientific areas is the strength of Dr. Demirgöz.

Kathy Dong

Judge
Kathy Dong has served at the state level in the Arizona Education Association on the Instruction and Professional Development Committee.

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. 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. 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.

John Henderson

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

Dr. Pam Henson

Judge
Dr . Henson is a former science teacher and has developed numerous programs for students in Baldwin County and in the State of Alabama.

Dr. James Jonza

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

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.

Dr. Jesse Miller

Mentor
Before joining 3M, Dr. Miller was a marine biologist with the University of Mississippi, focusing on coral reef disease research.

Rodney Moore

Judge
As Science Learning Specialist, Rodney Moore plays a key role in STEM expansion in his district which includes collaboration between local organizations, businesses, colleges and the community around STEM education.

Dr. Cristin Moran

Mentor
As a 3M scientist, Dr. Moran identifies new market opportunities and develops new consumer product platforms by combining technologies with consumer needs to create unique solutions.

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.

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.

Godfrey Rangasammy

Judge
Godfrey has designed, implemented and coordinated and facilitated numerous professional development sessions, as well as professional learning communities, focused on best practices for improving 21st Century teaching and learning within STEM education.

Sam Reiss

Mentor
Nuclear energy provides 20% of the USA’s power generation. Sam and his team work to keep nuclear reactors running safely, efficiently, and economically.

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.

Dr. Candace Singh

Judge
As an educator in San Diego County for close to 30 years, Dr. Singh is well-known and respected for her work as a turnaround principal and superintendent.

Dr. Holly Sullivan

Judge
Following an 18 year teaching career, Dr. Sullivan now serves as the Coordinator of Science, Health and Physical Education for Lexington County School District One in Lexington, SC.

Dr. Kris Thunhorst

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

Dr. Andrea Washington

Judge
Dr. Andrea "DeeDee" Washington is a veteran educator who has served for more than 27 years in multiple roles including curriculum facilitator, principal, personnel director, associate superintendent, and classroom teacher.