The Young Scientist Challenge is a national science competition for children in fifth grade through eighth grade. The competition began in 1999 through Discovery Communications, and in 2008, 3M joined Discovery Education in partnering the competition.
Each year from January through April, students video record their science ideas and submit them for judging. The judging takes place from April through May. The announcement of the state merit winners and finalists occurs in June and July. The finalists work with 3M scientists from July through September in a summer mentorship program. The final event takes place in October at 3M headquarters where one finalist becomes the grand prize winner.