Virtual Field Trip

3M and Discovery Education Launch First Young Scientist Global Virtual Field Trip for K-8


Discovery Education and 3M have launched the first Young Scientist Global Virtual Field Trip for kindergarten through eighth grade classrooms with exclusive access to 3M Headquarters’ “World of Innovation” in St. Paul, MN.

The event will be broadcast live at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST Feb. 23. Classrooms can register to attend this event by visiting this site.

During this 40-minute no-cost experience, students will be introduced to 3M scientists and engineers who are applying science to everyday life. 3M’s vice president of new platforms — growth and commercialization, Gayle Schueller, will kick off the event and introduce 3M scientists who will answer students’ questions live about STEM careers, scientific processes and more.

Plus, the materials and scientific thinking behind various innovations will be highlighted — from ion batteries that power smartphones to solar panel technologies. Students will see material that helps protect computers in a fire and learn how smart phones stay brighter, last longer and stay in one piece when you drop them. In addition, a number of hands-on experiments will be conducted, such as dunking a tablet in a special engineered liquid that can clean electronic components, douse fires and still allow you to take a selfie.

Co-hosting this event will be Kyle Hill, host of the Science Channel’sMythbusters: The Search,” science editor at, and host of YouTube’s “Because Science.” Joining him will be Hannah Herbst, 16, the 2015 Young Scientist Challenge winner. Herbst was also a 2016 White House Science Fair presenter, a United Nations guest speaker, and was recently profiled in Wired magazine.

“Virtual filed trips like this help me introduce my class to locations and people we might otherwise not ever get the chance to meet,” said Jessica Donaldson, a teacher at Cane Bay Middle School in Moncks Corner, SC, in a statement. “I look forward to participating in this free event and explaining to my students how science really is a part of their everyday lives.”

This virtual field trip is part of the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, a national competition recognizing scientific thinking and imagination in students grades 5 through 8. This year, the Young Scientist Challenge celebrates its 10th anniversary.

The Young Scientist Challenge offers students the opportunity to be mentored by a 3M scientist, compete for $25,000, and earn the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”

For more information, and to learn about submission guidelines, tips from previous winners and complete rules, visit this site.

For more information about other virtual field trips and initiatives from Discovery Education, visit that organization’s website.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].