This fall, a young Canton student has a chance at being named “America’s Top Young Scientist.”
Recently, Discovery Education and 3M named Gabriel Mesa, who is headed to Canton Middle School this year, as one of 10 finalists in the 14th annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge a science competition for students in grades 5-8.
Mesa was chosen due to the scientific ingenuity and innovation he demonstrated in his project on a more comfortable solution for patients suffering with sleep apnea that can replace restrictive masks.
Along with the other finalists, Mesa had the exclusive opportunity to work directly with a 3M Scientist during a summer mentorship program. Over the course of the summer, the finalists were challenged to create an innovation that solves a problem he/she has identified in society with guidance from their mentor as they developed their ideas from a concept into an actual prototype, which they will present at the competition’s final event at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, MN. Throughout the program, each student will have access to resources and support provided by 3M and Discovery Education.
The finalists will also each receive $1,000 and be awarded a trip to 3M Headquarters to participate in the final event on Oct. 15-16. During the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge final event, Mesa and the other finalists will demonstrate their scientific acumen, creativity and communication skills in a series of three different challenges, including a presentation of their completed innovation. Each challenge will be scored independently by a panel of judges. The winner will receive $25,000, a trip from Discovery Student Adventures and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”
Ian Hardgrove, President, 3M Foundation, added, “Commitment to foster interest and development in the innovators of our future is something we take very seriously at 3M, and our partnership with Discovery Education helps demonstrate just how exciting the journey of learning can be for students. It will be a sincere honor to host these bright young minds at the 3M Innovation Center in October.”
The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge targets students in the years when research indicates their interest in science begins to wane and encourages them to explore scientific concepts and creatively communicate their findings.
In addition to the 10 finalists, 42 students were selected as state merit winners in this year’s competition and will each receive a 3M Innovation Prize Package. For more information on the challenge, including photos and bios of the 10 finalists and a list of the state merit winners, go to www.youngscientistchallenge.com.