Enhancing the STEM Experience: The Young Scientist Challenge

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How do you enhance your child’s involvement and interest in STEM? A recent study highlights the advantages of encouraging scientific curiosity. We’ve already seen tremendous improvements in the academic success of students involved in our afterschool Space Club, but involvement at home is key too! One great resource can be found in the Young Scientist Challenge  by Discovery Education and 3M. If you are already involved in this competition, remember to submit your entry videos by April 19th! If not, read on to learn more. 

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The Challenge

Simply put, kids in grades 5-8 must identify a problem that directly impacts their family, community, or the global population. Next, they should come up with a new solution for this problem. The solution is to be submitted as a 1-2 minute video description. Check out these amazing videos from previous contestants.

As we prepare to celebrate Earth Day, there are countless challenges related to protecting our planet. What happens to all our waste? How can we reduce, reuse, and recycle? How can we make more items biodegradable? These are just examples of questions that students can tackle. A key to making an impact with STEM education is to pick problems that are relevant and exciting to students. When you connect STEM challenges to their passion, you increase a child’s curiosity and engagement in finding a solution. Then take the next step to connect this problem to a STEM career pathway.

If your students need more motivation to tackle a problem, the Young Scientist Challenge has an amazing prize for the chosen winner-- $25,000 and an opportunity to attend the taping of a Discovery Network show! This challenge was created by Discovery Communications who then partnered with the innovative company of 3M. (Side note: I want to hug whoever it was at 3M that developed Command Adhesives!) The top ten finalists get one-on-one mentoring with real 3M Scientists, which is an opportunity of a lifetime for future STEMists. Read more about the prizes for this challenge here.

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Submitting Your Entry

Follow these simple steps to complete your entry:

1.      Parents must sign the parental consent form and register their child.  Once registered, parents must activate their students account by clicking on the link in the confirmation email. If you encounter technical difficulties, reach out to YSC@discovery.com.

2.      Log-in with your username and password.

3.      Review the entry topics, learn video tips , and visit the FAQs

4.      Complete your student profile and upload your video entry by April 19, 2018.

Teacher and Parent Support

Parents and teachers should encourage their students to be a part of this great opportunity! Teachers can find support materials here including a letter to parents and a roadmap to implement the challenge in your classroom.

Are your kids working on their videos now? You can find helpful tips here as they complete their entry. Pay special attention to tip #10: Have Fun!

Seize the opportunity to think outside the box and join the challenge. Think of where we could be if each person in the world worked to make just one thing better!

Finish your videos and submit them now, before the contest closes on April 19, 2018! If you haven’t already, visit the Young Scientist Challenge today to register!

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