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Young Scientist Challenge Announces Nationwide Finalists

After eight months and three rounds of judging, Discovery and 3M have announced the 10 nationwide finalists in their 12th Young Scientist Challenge, the annual competition open to students in grades 5 through 8 who want to tackle a social or security issue facing the country using science.

Participants entered one- to two-minute videos, made using basic home electronics devices (e.g., cell phones), on one of four given topics: preventing the spread of germs/diseases; food safety; sun protection; or wind-resistant structures. A panel of judges, experts in the sciences, social activism, and science education, evaluate all entered videos on the basis of creativity, persuasiveness, classroom suitability, and overall presentation. (Production quality is not a consideration).

The following 10 finalists will all receive an all-expenses-paid trip to New York in October for the final challenge:

Riya Chandra
Grade 5, Mission San Jose Elementary School, Fremont, CA
Preventing the spread of germs/diseases

Sydney Clark
Grade 6, Clark Academy of Science and Art (homeschool), TX
Preventing the spread of germs/diseases

Sehee Kim
Grade 8, Piney Grove Middle School, Cumming, GA
Sun protection

Kai Klocke
Grade 7, Cedar Park Middle School, Portland, OR
Preventing the spread of germs/diseases

Alexander Mataloni
Grade 8, South County Secondary School, Lorton, VA
Wind-resistant structures

Liam McCarty
Grade 8, Brookfield Academy, Brookfield, WI
Wind-resistant structures

Liam O'Brien
Grade 6, West Woods Upper Elementary School, Farmington, CT
Wind-resistant structures

Raj Raina
Grade 8, Novi Middle School, Novi, MI
Preventing the spread of germs/diseases

Christopher Riedman
Grade 7, home schooled, Bismarck, ND
Wind-resistant structures

Matthew Shimura
Grade 7, Punahou School, Honolulu, HI
Preventing the spread of germs/diseases

The winner, to be announced in October, will receive $50,000 in United States Savings Bonds, as well as the title "America's Top Young Scientist" and a trip to St. Paul, MN, to spend time with top scientists at 3M.

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.