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!

Nancy Addison

Judge
During the past three years, Nancy has assisted in the expansion of the STEM magnet programs in CMS through targeted professional development for staff and recommendations for quality STEM curriculum materials for students.

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.

Sergio Anaya

Judge
With a strong background in History, Anthropology and Instructional Technology, Mr. Anaya provides support to curriculum development.

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.

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. 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

Mentor
Since joining in 1988, Benson has spent the majority of his career leading research efforts to develop environmentally friendly manufacturing process technologies using high-energy radiation.

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.

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.

Patti Duncan

Judge
After working for ten years as a food chemist, Patti Duncan made the switch to education teaching middle school and high school science for twelve years.

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.

Milagros Fornell

Judge
Milagros Fornell's numerous awards include, but are not limited to: 1984 Miami-Dade County Public Schools Teacher of the Year, 1998 South Florida Phi Beta Kappa Superior High School Principal, and 2001 Region VI Principal of the Year.

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.

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.

Tina Powers Garrett

Judge
As a Prekindergarten through twelfth grade STEM Coordinator, Tina sets high goals for the district curriculum and for all educators while being a role model for students.

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. Jen Hanson

Mentor
In the Consumer Healthcare division, Jen creates new products that help people heal and get back to living their lives.

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.

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.

John Henderson

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

Dr. Satish Jagnandan

Judge
Dr. Jagnandan holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Fordham University, Master of Art in Mathematics Education and Master of Education with a specialization in School Administration and Supervision from City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center. Dr. Jagnandan completed a doctorate degree in Executive Leadership at St. John Fisher College at the College of New Rochelle in July of 2012. His study focused on mathematics achievement among high school dropouts under the direction of Dr. Ronald D. Valenti and Dr. Welton Sawyer.

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.

Libbey Kitten

Judge
Libbey Kitten's twenty-two year teaching career spans three states in both public and private school settings.

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.

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.

Arny Leslie

Judge
Since 1996 Arny has taught in the Lake Washington School District in Redmond, Washington. He spent thirteen years at Redmond Junior High teaching ninth grade science, punctuated by three years out of the classroom as a full-time new teacher mentor. He has served on the planning committee for Nikola Tesla STEM High School, which opened in the fall of 2012, and has taught engineering and AP Environmental Science there ever since.

Margaux Mitera

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

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
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.

Michael O'Toole

Judge
O’Toole has been immersed in education and coaching for more than two decades.

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.

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.

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.

Casey Rimmer, M.Ed.

Judge
Casey is an experienced Technology Facilitator with a history of working in the education management industry with experience in E-Learning, K-12 Education, Classroom Management, Lesson Planning, and Educational Technology. She received her Masters Degree focused in Curriculum and Instruction, Technology Leadership from Concordia University, Portland.

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

Reed Timmer

Judge
As the lead meteorologist and professional storm chaser on Discovery Channel's award-winning series Storm Chasers, Reed is one of the world's most respected experts on severe weather forecasting, safety and survival.

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.

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.

Dr. Caroline Ylitalo

Mentor
Dr. Ylitalo has focused her career on developing new technologies that can be used across many businesses and has over 30 issued patents.