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!

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. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 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.

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. 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.