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.

Tesha Alston

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

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. 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
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.

Brian Butler

Judge
Originally from Virginia, Brian holds a specialist degree as well as an MAT degree from Georgia College and a B.S. in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma where his love for science was enhanced by the ability to chase tornadoes! Prior to education, Mr. Butler is proud to have served as a meteorologist in the United States Air Force with duty stations in Arizona and Mississippi before ending up in Georgia where he has lived since 2003.

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.

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. 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.

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.

Sara Hemmer

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

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 M. Jonza

Judge
For three decades, Dr. James M. Jonza has improved lives by pioneering technology advancements in films.

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. 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.

Dr. Jesse Miller

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

Margaux Mitera

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

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. 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.

Christine Tucci Osorio

Judge
Christine serves on the Executive Board of the Association of Metro Area School Districts (AMSD) and serves as a board member for the Search Institute. She is dedicated to sharing leadership experiences with others and has worked with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) to mentor and coach fellow school superintendents in Puerto Rico. She has also recently served as the President of the Mid-American Association of School Superintendents, and currently co-chairs a Minnesota State Task Force on School Finance. She is deeply passionate about high school reform and is committed to lifting up the voices and leadership of young people as shared decision makers.

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
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.

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. 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.

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

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.

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.