July 16, 2024


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3M and Discovery Education Recognize 31 State Merit Winners in 2022 3M Young Scientist Challenge


SILVER SPRING, Md. & ST. PAUL, Minn. – 3M and Discovery Education announced 31 State Merit Winners in the 2022 3M Young Scientist Challenge. As the nation’s premier middle school science competition for 15 years, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge features outstanding innovations from young scientists that utilize the power of STEM to improve the world. 

The 3M Young Scientist Challenge asks students in grades 5-8 to identify an everyday problem in their classroom, community, or the world and submit a one- to two-minute video communicating the science behind their solution. An esteemed and diverse group of judges, including 3M scientists and leaders in education from across the country, evaluated entries based on creativity, scientific knowledge, and communication effectiveness.  

“At 3M, we are committed to unlocking the power of our people, our science, and our ideas to reimagine what comes next. The ‘3M Young Scientist Challenge’ supports young innovators who have demonstrated that same passion to create what’s next and see their creative discoveries unfold and improve the world around us,” said Karina Chavez, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at 3M. “We are thrilled to welcome the latest generation of finalists and honorable mention recipients, and we are energized by a future that embraces STEM-for-all and what it can do for the world around us.”  

The 3M Young Scientist Challenge recognizes this year’s 31 State Merit Winners, selected for their passion for STEM, innovation, and superb communication skills. Each State Merit Winner receives special recognition on the challenge website and a one-of-a-kind technology prize pack.   

The 2022 3M Young Scientist Challenge State Merit Winners are listed below in alphabetical order by state: 

[Alaska] Sara DeVolld, Connections Homeschool Program, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District 

[Arkansas] Sanjay Iyer, Forest Heights STEM Academy, Little Rock School District 

[Arizona] Iraj Shroff, BASIS Chandler Charter School, BASIS Charter Schools 

[California] Ryan Park, La Canada High School, La Canada Unified School District 

[Colorado] Vikram Raju, Aurora Quest K-8, Aurora Public Schools 

[Connecticut] Toshan Bhattacharya, Bethel Middle School, Bethel Public School District 

[Florida] Sharanya Natarajan, Edgewood Junior/Senior High School, Brevard Public Schools 

[Georgia] Katherine Webb, Renfroe Middle School, City Schools of Decatur 

[Iowa] Silas Erwin, Merrill Middle School, Des Moines Public Schools 

[Illinois] James Yu, Avery Coonley School

[Indiana] Rohith Nuthakki, Creekside Middle School, Carmel Clay Schools 

[Kansas] Parker Welsh, Tonganoxie Middle School, Tonganoxie Public Schools – Unified School District No. 464 

[Louisiana] Maya Trutschl, Caddo Middle Magnet School, Caddo Public Schools 

[Massachusetts] Vivek Varanasi, Jonas Clarke Middle School, Lexington Public School District 

[Maryland] Shriyadita De, Takoma Park Middle School, Montgomery County Public Schools 

[Minnesota] Shagun Shrivastava, Central Middle School, Independent School District 272 

[North Carolina] Viraj Shah, Carnage Middle School, Wake County Public School System 

[North Dakota] Lam Le, Oak Grove Lutheran School  

[Nevada] Luka Nguyen, Challenger School – Silverado 

[New Jersey] Sonia Leo, William Allen Middle School, Moorestown Township Public Schools  

[New York] Salamat Ibrahim, Capital Preparatory Bronx Charter School, New York City Community School District 12 

[Ohio] Kaavya Tatavarty, The Seven Hills School,  

[Oklahoma] Nosrat Montaha, Owasso Eighth Grade Center, Owasso Public Schools 

[Oregon] Sahit Jayaweera, Tumwater Middle School, Beaverton School District 

[Pennsylvania] Elizabeth Gill, Reach Cyber Charter School, A Pennsylvania Connections Academy 

[Tennessee] Catherine Manley, West Valley Middle School, Knox County Schools 

[Texas] Varuni Saranu, Coppell Middle School – West, Coppell Independent School District 

[Virginia] Kriesh Tivare, Cooper Middle School, Fairfax County Public Schools 

[Washington] Aishwarya Agrawal, Odle Middle School, Bellevue School District 

[Wisconsin] Henry Martin, Golda Meir School, Milwaukee Public Schools 

[Wyoming] Asa Limmer, Centennial Junior High School, Natrona County School District Number 1 

To learn more about the 3M Young Scientist Challenge and meet this year’s finalists, visit YoungScientistLab.com

“We applaud the creativity and thoughtfulness of each of the 2022 State Merit Winners. Your leadership is an inspiration and you’re already changing the world for the better,” said Amy Nakamoto, general manager of social impact at Discovery Education.  

In its fifteenth year, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge continues to inspire and challenge middle school students to think creatively and apply the power of STEM to discovering real-world solutions. America’s Top Young Scientists have gone on to give TED Talks, file patents, found nonprofits, make the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange, and exhibit at the White House Science Fair. These young innovators have also been named Time Magazine’s first Kid of the Year, featured in The New York Times Magazine, Forbes, Business Insider, and on national television programs such as Good Morning America, CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and more. This year’s top 10 Young Scientist Challenge finalists and honorable mentions will be announced on June 28, 2022. The finalists will travel to 3M’s Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn., where they will participate in the final competition on October 17-18. 

The award-winning 3M Young Scientist Challenge supplements the 3M and Discovery Education program – Young Scientist Lab – which provides no-cost dynamic digital resources for students, teachers, and families to explore, transform, and innovate the world around them. Additional digital resources, content, and professional resources are available through 3M’s Science at Home series, an array of videos showcasing 3M scientists and guests performing simple, at home experiments for kids aged 6-12. All the resources are available within Discovery Education’s K-12 learning platform and at YoungScientistLab.com.  

For more information about Discovery Education’s award-winning digital resources and professional learning services, visit  www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and  LinkedIn.  

About 3M 
3M (NYSE: MMM) believes science helps create a brighter world for everyone. By unlocking the power of people, ideas and science to reimagine what’s possible, our global team uniquely addresses the opportunities and challenges of our customers, communities, and planet. Learn how we’re working to improve lives and make what’s next at 3M.com/news or on Twitter at @3M or @3MNews. 

About Discovery Education 
Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place. Through its award-winning multimedia content, instructional supports, and innovative classroom tools, Discovery Education helps educators deliver equitable learning experiences engaging all students and supporting higher academic achievement on a global scale. Discovery Education serves approximately 4.5 million educators and 45 million students worldwide, and its resources are accessed in over 100 countries and territories. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and trusted organizations to empower teachers with leading edtech solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.  

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