ST. PAUL, Minn. – Nine of the top students from across the country in grades five through eight are in the Twin Cities to compete for America's Top Young Scientist.
Discovery Education and 3M sponsor the competition that celebrates scientific thinking among students.
Inside the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul sits the next generation of scientists. These young minds are focused on developing innovative solutions to everyday problems.
It's here they will test their skills to see who can come up with the best innovation and win the $25,000 grand prize.
"We want to motivate them to come up with a new innovation, think about the science, what they can do to bring up new product, new material in the world," said Dr. Mahfuza Ali.
These finalists have worked one on one with a 3M scientist mentor to evolve their projects from idea to prototype.
This two-day competition takes the nine finalists through a series of challenges and eventually presentation of their new innovation.
"They're so interested to learn science and apply science thinking about the whole world, what we can do to make this world a better place," said Ali.
For scientist mentor Ross Behling, it's exciting to see young people committed to making our world a better place.
"I think improving lives is a big part of being a top scientist. Engaging our community, doing things that better our world and improving lives through science is just fantastic," said Behling.
Previous projects include a headphone device that uses blue light to detect and treat mild ear infections in children, and using artificial intelligence to help detect Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Scientists at 3M will judge the projects to determine which one most improves lives and solves a global challenge.
America's Top Young Scientists have gone on to give TED Talks, make Forbes 30 Under 30 List, file patents and receive TIME's Kid of the Year recognition.
The winner will be announced Tuesday.
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