By Abigail Peklo
Creekside Middle School student Nira Nuthakki is the Indiana state winner for the 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her project, “Ash Barrier.” This is the 13th year that 3M and Discovery have collaborated on the national competition.
Fifth- through eighth-graders compete by taking a real-world problem and combine their imagination, science and STEM to show how they can fix it. Students submit a one- to two-minute video communicating the problem-solution scenario to a panel of judges. The criteria for winners is based on innovation, passion for STEM and other factors.
State merit winners and finalists were announced June 22. In October, the 10 finalists will compete virtually in an interactive challenge series and present their project again for the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”
Nuthakki, along with other state merit winners, received a technology prize and recognition on the challenge website. Finalists receive mentoring by a 3M scientist to prototype their invention along with $1,000. The grand prize winner receives $25,000.
“We are looking to the next generation to help improve the world we live in, and the 3M Young Scientist Challenge is a great platform for (students) to express what and how they want to see change,” said Denise Rutherford, senior vice president of corporate affairs at 3M.
The 3M Young Scientist Challenge comes out of the Young Scientist Lab, an educational program collaboration between 3M and Discovery. The no-cost digital resource is for students, teachers and anyone to expand their knowledge, innovation and creation to fix problems the world faces.
Current reached out for comment from Nuthakki but did not receive a response.