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!

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 leads the development of innovative respiratory products, that protect the health and safety of millions of workers, all over the world.

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. 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
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.

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
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. Jen Hanson

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

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 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. 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.

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.

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. 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. 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.

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.

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.