3M & Discovery Education Recognize 24 State Merit Winners & 4 Honorable Mentions in 2023 3M Young Scientist Challenge

3M (@3M) and Discovery Education (@DiscoveryEd) today announced the 2023 3M Young Scientist Challenge (#YoungScientist24 State Merit Winners and four honorable mention recipients. As the nation’s premier middle school science competition, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge features outstanding innovations from young scientists that utilize the power of science to improve the world.

To enter, students in grades 5-8 submit a one-to-two-minute video explaining an original idea using science to help solve an everyday problem. All entries are reviewed by a diverse group of judges and evaluated on their creativity, scientific knowledge, and communication skills. Videos can be recorded using a cell phone or digital camera and are not judged on production skills. 

“The 3M Young Scientist Challenge demonstrates how harnessing the power of people, ideas, and science to reimagine what’s possible can help shape a brighter future,” said John Banovetz, 3M executive vice president, chief technology officer and environmental responsibility. “The 2023 state merit winners are already making the world a better place through groundbreaking STEM thinking and innovation.” 

The 2023 3M Young Scientist Challenge recognizes the 24 State Merit Winners and the four honorable mention recipients, which were selected for their passion for science, innovation, and superb communication skills. Each State Merit Winner receives special recognition on the challenge website, along with a special technology prize pack.   

The 2023 3M Young Scientist Challenge State Merit Winners are listed below in alphabetical order by state: 

[Alabama] Greeshma Vinoy, Alabama School of Fine Arts, Alabama School of Fine Arts School District

[California] Kayley Xu, The Bishop’s School, Private 

[Colorado] Aanshi Shah, Thunder Vista P-8, Five Star District 

[Connecticut] Rithvik Suren, Academy of Science and Innovation, Capitol Region Education Council  

[Florida] Chilok Mak, Shorecrest Preparatory School, Private 

[Georgia] Siddhant Mahapatra, East Side Elementary School, Cobb County School District 

[Indiana] Rohith Nuthakki, Creekside Middle School, Carmel Clay School District 

[Kentucky] Aniket Tadinada, Meyzeek Middle School, Jefferson County District 

[Massachusetts] Hanna Suzuki, John Glenn Middle School, Bedford Public School District 

[Maryland] Dev Gadhia, Mount View Middle School, Howard County Public School System 

[Minnesota] Shubham Panchal, Wayzata Central Middle School, Wayzata Public Schools 

[Missouri] Sania Rehman, Central High School – Springfield Scholars Program, Springfield R-12 District 

[North Carolina] Jamie Cheng, Mills Park Middle School, Wake County Public School System 

[New Hampshire] Yuvanguru Balagurumoorthy, Academy for Science and Design Chartered Public School, Nashua School District 

[New Jersey] Jasmine Parran, Edison Intermediate School, Westfield Public School District 

[Nevada] Mila Nguyen, Challenger School, Private 

[New York] Vick Tan, Horace Mann School, Private 

[Oklahoma] Iffat Iftekhar, Union 8th Grade Center, Union Public Schools 

[Oregon] Subhang Bhatti, Astra Nova School, Online 

[Pennsylvania] Arman Kazi, Hershey Middle School, Derry Township School District 

[Texas] Neel Hiremath, Cedar Valley Middle School, Round Rock Independent School District 

[Utah] Arin Bhandari, Clayton Middle School, Salt Lake City School District 

[Virginia] Meha Seshan, Rosa Lee Carter Elementary School, Loudoun County Public Schools 

[Wisconsin] Henry Martin, Golda Meir School, Milwaukee Public Schools 

For the third time in competition history, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge also recognized entrants with an honorable mention award. These projects were selected for their unique and innovative concepts innovation and effective communication skills. The four 2023 3M Young Scientist Challenge honorable mention recipients are as follows in alphabetical order by last name: 

  • Ryanne Bethly, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Watergrass Elementary School, Pasco County Schools 
  • Audrey Kim, Irvine, Calif., Sierra Vista Middle School, Irvine Unified School District 
  • Bhargav Mandakolathur, Milpitas, Calif., John Sinnott Elementary School, Milpitas Unified School District 
  • Kavin Puri, Mars, Pa., Marshall Middle School, North Allegheny School District 

To learn more about the 3M Young Scientist Challenge and meet the 2023 finalists, visit 

“Congratulations to each state merit winner and honorable mention recipient in the 2023 3M Young Scientist Challenge. Your innovations are what this challenge is all about and it’s incredible to see young people from the age of 11 to 14 already making a difference in the world,” said Amy Nakamoto, general manager of social impact at Discovery Education.  

America’s Top Young Scientists have gone on to give TED Talks, file patents, found nonprofits, make the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange and exhibit at the White House Science Fair. These young innovators have also been named Time Magazine’s first Kid of the Year, featured in The New York Times Magazine, Forbes, and Business Insider, and have appeared on national television programs such as Good Morning America, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and more. In addition, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge Alumni Network began fall 2022 and welcomed more than 100 former challenge finalists and winners for networking and grant opportunities. 

The award-winning 3M Young Scientist Challenge supplements the 3M and Discovery Education program – Young Scientist Lab – which provides no-cost dynamic digital resources for students, teachers, and families to explore, transform, and innovate the world around them. All the resources are also available through the Young Scientist Lab Channel and in the Social Impact Partnerships channel on Discovery Education’s recently enhanced K-12 learning platform.   

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn. 

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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