Bhagavatula competes to be America’s Top Young Scientist

On June 20, three days before her last day as a Middlebrook eighth grader, Anika Bhagavatula was named one of 10 finalists in the 10th annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

The nationwide competition — sponsored by global innovation company 3M and Discovery Education, global leader in standards-based K-12 digital content —  recognizes scientific thinking and imagination in fifth through eighth graders, who dream up solutions to everyday problems.

Students like Anika submitted short videos, communicating the science behind a possible solution to an everyday problem.

For her submission, Anika used the same project that won her best in fair at the 2017 the Middlebrook Science and Engineering Fair — A Novel Method for Oil Spill Cleanup Using Biomass.

She and the nine other finalists were selected based on their science acumen, innovative thinking and exceptional communication skills.

Each finalist will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a 3M scientist during a summer mentorship program that will challenge them to develop an innovative idea that positively impacts them, their family, their community or the global population.

Students will meet virtually with their mentors and have access to resources and support provided by 3M and Discovery Education.

All 10 finalists receive $1,000 and a trip to 3M Headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., to participate in the final competition at the 3M Innovation Center on Oct. 16 and 17, where they 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, and the winner will receive $25,000, a trip to watch the taping of a Discovery Network show, and the title of America’s Top Young Scientist.

Visit to learn more about the Young Scientist Challenge.