3M Young Scientist Challenge Announces 2022 National Finalists and Honorable Mentions

ST. PAUL, Minn. and SILVER SPRING, Md., (Thursday, July 7, 2022) – Today’s youth has never been more hopeful for a better, brighter, and safer world. Inspired by the desire to impact change in communities far and near, they are using the power of STEM to help drive the change they want to see. 3M (@3M) and Discovery Education (@DiscoveryEd) are proud to announce the top 10 finalists and four honorable mention recipients in the 2022 3M Young Scientist Challenge, the 15th year of the competition.

This year’s finalists and honorable mention recipients feature outstanding innovations from young scientists – fourteen students ages 12 to 14 – who submitted a one-to two-minute video communicating a solution to an everyday problem in their community or the world and the science behind their solution. A diverse group of judges, including 3M scientists and leaders in education from across the country, evaluated entries based on creativity, scientific knowledge, and communication effectiveness. The final event will take place on October 17-18, 2022, at the 3M Innovation Center in Minneapolis.  

“At 3M, we are committed to unlocking the power of our people, science, and ideas to reimagine what comes next. The ‘3M Young Scientist Challenge’ supports young innovators who have demonstrated that same passion through creative discovery and the desire to improve the world around us,” said Karina Chavez, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at 3M. “We are thrilled to welcome the latest generation of finalists and honorable mention recipients, and we are energized by a future that embraces STEM-for-all to build a better tomorrow.” 

The top 10 2022 3M Young Scientist Challenge finalists and the four honorable mention recipients include students from public and private schools across the U.S. Each finalist will be evaluated on a series of challenges, including a presentation of their completed innovation. Each challenge will be scored independently by a panel of judges. The grand prize winner will receive $25,000, a unique destination trip, and the title of America’s Top Young Scientist. 

The top 10 2022 3M Young Scientist Challenge finalists are as follows in alphabetical order by last name: 

  • Leanne Fan, San Diego, Calif., Mesa Verde Middle School, Poway Unified School District 
  • John Lee, Oviedo, Fla., Jackson Heights Middle School, Seminole County Public School District  
  • Samaira Mehta, Santa Clara, Calif., Sunnyvale Raynor Middle School, Stratford School 
  • Sritej Padmanabhan, Sewickley, Pa., Marshall Middle School, North Allegheny School District  
  • Amritha Praveen, Buffalo Grove, Ill., Aptakisic Junior High School, Aptakisic – Tripp School District 102  
  • Shanza Sami, Iowa City, Iowa, Northwest Junior High School, Iowa City Community School District 
  • Sahasra Swargam, Portland, Ore., Stoller Middle School, Beaverton School District  
  • Asvini Thivakaran, Round Rock, Texas, Cedar Valley Middle School, Round Rock Independent School District 
  • Daniel Thomas, Colleyville, Texas, Colleyville Middle School, Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District  
  • Harini Venkatesh, Plano, Texas, C M Rice Middle School, Plano Independent School District 

The 3M Young Scientist Challenge also recognizes four entrants with an Honorable Mention Award. These projects were selected due to their unique and innovative concepts and effective communication by the recipient. The four 2022 3M Young Scientist Challenge honorable mention recipients are as follows in alphabetical order by last name: 

  • Austin Ewing, Chicago, Ill., Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy, Chicago Public Schools 
  • Isha Joshi, Vienna, Va., Kilmer Middle School, Fairfax County Public Schools 
  • Pratyush Sathish Kumar, Avon, Ind., Avon Intermediate School East, Avon Community School Corporation 
  • Delisha Manuel, Milpitas, Calif., Stratford School 

To learn more about the 3M Young Scientist Challenge and meet this year’s finalists and honorable mentions, visit 

“Congratulations to each of the finalists and honorable mentions in the 2022 3M Young Scientist Challenge! Your leadership and STEM ingenuity are what the 3M Young Scientist Challenge is all about,” said Amy Nakamoto, general manager of social impact at Discovery Education. “For 15 years, Discovery Education and 3M have been working together to support and amplify young scientists to help change the world through innovation and creativity. With 3M’s continued and thoughtful leadership in STEM, together we are helping to inspire and empower the students of today to become the STEM leaders of tomorrow.” 

In its fifteenth year, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge continues to inspire and challenge middle school students to think creatively and apply the power of STEM to discovering real-world solutions. 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, CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and more.  

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. Additional digital resources, content, and professional resources are available through 3M’s Science at Home series, an array of videos showcasing 3M scientists and guests performing simple, at home experiments for kids aged 6-12. All the resources are available within Discovery Education’s K-12 learning platform and at 


About 3M
3M (NYSE: MMM) believes science helps create a brighter world for everyone. By unlocking the power of people, ideas and science to reimagine what’s possible, our global team uniquely addresses the opportunities and challenges of our customers, communities, and planet. Learn how we’re working to improve lives and make what’s next at or on Twitter at @3M or @3MNews. 

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place. Through its award-winning multimedia content, instructional supports, and innovative classroom tools, Discovery Education helps educators deliver equitable learning experiences engaging all students and supporting higher academic achievement on a global scale. Discovery Education serves approximately 4.5 million educators and 45 million students worldwide, and its resources are accessed in over 100 countries and territories. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and trusted organizations to empower teachers with leading edtech solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at  

Robert Brittain

Grace Maliska
Discovery Education

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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