About the Challenge

The ultimate middle school science competition

The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge

Check out this video to get an introduction to the challenge from past finalists, winners and mentors.

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The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge is the nation’s premier science competition for grades 5-8. This one-of-a-kind video competition has sparked the imaginations of hundreds of thousands of students and enhanced science exploration, innovation and communication across the United States.

When first launched by Discovery Communications in 1999, the Young Scientist Challenge had the same mission it does today: to foster a new generation of American scientists at an age when interest in science generally declines. In 2008, Discovery Education joined forces with 3M – one of the world’s most notable innovators – to cultivate the next generation of problem-solvers and give students the unique opportunity to work directly with 3M scientists.

Desktop Calendar Outlining Dates

Important Dates

Understand the key dates and process of the yearly competition.

Girls working on project


Official Rules for the 2017 Young Scientist Challenge.

2015 Finalists and Winner Holding Prize Check


Take a quick peek at the incredible prizes you could win if you enter the Young Scientist Challenge.

Judges deliberating at 2015 Final Event


Experts in science and communication including current and former teachers, scientists, and district administrators, are selected carefully from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds.

Lots of hands, holding up brightly colored question marks.


Find answers to some of our most commonly asked questions about the competition.

Young Scientist Challenge Kudos
Science is fascinating because everything in science has a reason. It's exciting to learn and discover new things. I also love science because I enjoy the hands-on way to learn."
Aishani Sil
2013 National Finalist