Support STEM Programs In Schools! #YoungScientist @3M @TheMoms #Ad



    Recently, I visited one of my teacher colleagues who teaches math at our middle school.  It was fun to work out math problems with my students and to see them become excited when they got the correct answers.  While most of the kids were engaged, I have noticed that some students struggle in math and often become disinterested in it.  

    Math is extremely important to science as well as other aspects of life so I would love to be able to ignite their passion once again for working with numbers.  After all, I know that you must have a strong math foundation to excel in any of the STEM fields.

    The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge is the nation’s premier science competition for grades 5-8.  Through the program, young inventors have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work closely with a 3M Scientist Mentor, compete for $25,000, and earn the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”

    Their mission is to foster a new generation of American scientists at an age when interest in science generally declines.  I can personally vouch for the fact that this is definitely the case in middle school since I have taught this age for the past fifteen years.  In 2008, Discovery Education teamed up with 3M, one of the world’s most notable innovators – to cultivate the next generation of problem solvers and give students an opportunity to receive mentorship from 3M scientists.


How Does The Challenge Work?

  1. Entries are open through April 20th, 2016.  Participants must submit a one-to-two-minute video describing the science behind a new innovation or solution that could solve or impact an everyday problem.
  2. Judges evaluate the entries through April and May based on the following criteria:  Creativity, scientific knowledge, persuasiveness and overall presentation. Videos will not be judged on production skills and may be recorded on cell phones or basic digital cameras.
  3. Ten finalists are announced in the summer and will participate in a mentorship program during which they will get the opportunity to work one-on-one with renowned 3M scientists as their mentors.
  4. Each finalist will also receive a trip to the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn., to compete at the final event in October 2016.

    For more information on the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, including submission guidelines, tips from previous winners and complete rules, please visit Submissions will be accepted through April 13, 2016.  It’s a great way to support STEM programs in schools!


Let’s Discuss:  What are some of the ways that you encourage your own children to pursue STEM careers?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored campaign created in collaboration with 3M. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

© 2016, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. Catherine S says

    This sounds like a great competition. This is something my son would have been interested in doing when he was that age.

  2. Jennifer Williams says

    I wonder if this is open to homeschoolers. My little guy is not old enough but I know a couple kids that are who would be interested.

  3. My daughter just switched her college course. Wanting to be a vet, now she is focusing on fields that are backed by STEM programs. I think she’s leaning towards engineering, but will hopefully have it narrowed down by the time she graduates next year.

  4. I’m just hearing about this STEM here in Canada, I will have to look more into it though. Figure out what I can do with my daughter at home!

  5. What an awesome thing to participate in. I love STEM programs and what they teach!

  6. That’s pretty smart to zone in on the age that typically begins to move away from their interest in Science. I’m glad STEM is being so embraced now, by so many. I bet that alone will generate big future results in Science.

  7. My son loves math and I noticed he also get really curious when it comes to science and how things work. I love finding little projects for him to do. Once we made electricity.

  8. We highly support STEM in our schools. In fact, al of my daughters applied and go into the STEM based school in our county. This is an amazing way to educate students.

  9. What a great initiative! This is definitely the way of the future, I’m glad there are ways for kids to get involved and explore their talents!

  10. We absolutely support STEM schools and programs. My daughter is a junior in a STEM high school.

  11. I’m a big supporter of nurturing children to explore and pursue all of their interests from a very early age. We knew our daughter was musical and a great actress, so we sent her to a performing arts program, where she excelled. It’s important to encourage and make available the education that they will excel at and that will serve them in their future. The STEM program sounds wonderful, although I don’t believe we have it here in Canada.

  12. I have 5 kids and 2 of them are currently old enough and interested in careers with some stem backgrounds. My oldest is interested in something like bioengineering or biomedical and my middle son wants to go to the USGC and then maybe venture off into marine biology. I think it is important to take their interests and run with them, try to keep them interested so they can make a career out of it.

  13. I have to admit I haven’t heard of STEM before – what a great idea though and a lovely way to get kids interested 🙂

  14. As you know I have no children but I definitely wish STEM programs were around when I was in school. I was horrible in Math–but good in applied chemistry–go figure–and I ended up being a bookkeeper which actually has nothing to do with the math they teach in the STEM curriculum. This sounds like a wonderful program that should be pursued by parents who have children who could benefit by it.

  15. I really like the idea behind the 3M Young Scientist Challenge. It sounds like a really great way to encourage kids to get interested in STEM. I did not like mathematics at all when I was a kid, and science was really difficult too.

  16. My sons are grown and went into business careers but I have to say that this is an exceptional way to stimulate the young mind. I had never heard of the STEM program before but I am going to pass this info on to my brother who has a young son that would be interested in this.

  17. This is an awesome campaign! I love that there are programs/contests like this that spark the child’s interest in STEM subjects. When my kids were growing up, I made them explore their surroundings. My sons usually tore apart their toys, in an effort to discover what makes them work. My eldest son is now in college, majoring in computer engineering and is due to graduate in about a year and a half.

  18. Thanks for this! I have been pushing stem big time here in the DMV! Appreciate this post

  19. I love math and science, but I’m not a huge STEM fan – mostly because I feel it is too gimicky (I also don’t like to wear clothing that show the brand name all over it). I love that kids are able to go deeper and get to know more about science, so they can gain interest, hopefully at a young age.

  20. I brought my daughter to her STEM night at school. She had a great time. The school made it really fun and interesting.

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