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Contest seeks out brightest young scientists

WORCESTER — Charter Communications, Discovery Education and 3M are proud to announce the 2011 call for entries for the 13th annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.
Charter Communications of Worcester has joined the search to ensure the state's top young scientists are well-represented in the nation's premier science competition for students in grades five through eight. Ten finalists will be selected to receive an all-expense paid trip to the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn., to compete in the final challenge in October. The winner will receive $25,000 and the title of "America's Top Young Scientist."
According to the latest results from the 2009 National Assessment of Education Progress, less than half of U.S. students are proficient in science. The decline begins in fourth grade, with 34 percent performing at or above the proficient level, decreases to 30 percent of eighth-graders and to 21 percent of 12th-graders. To help cultivate the nation's next generation of great thinkers and innovators and keep them interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Charter Communications is supporting Discovery Education and 3M's team effort to reward students for science acumen and curiosity, encouraging them to share that passion by creatively communicating their findings through this national science competition.
"Charter is proud to support Discovery Education and 3M in this premier science competition for middle school students," Greg Garabedian, vice president and general manager of Charter Communications, New England, said. "It's an opportunity for students to expand their horizons by using science to create innovative solutions."
Scientists around the world rely on communication to help solve scientific problems and transform creative ideas into innovative solutions. For this reason, middle school students residing in the United States are asked to create a one to two-minute video communicating the science behind a possible solution for an everyday problem related to one of the following categories: the way we move; the way we keep ourselves healthy; the way we make a difference.
New to this year's competition, each of the 10 finalists will have an exclusive opportunity to work directly with a 3M scientist during a summer mentorship program where each finalist will be challenged to create an innovation that solves a problem in society. As part of the mentorship, the students will virtually meet with their mentor and will receive resources and support provided by 3M and Discovery Education, the leading provider of high quality curriculum-based digital content.
Reviewed by a panel of judges, all video entries for the 2011 science competition will be evaluated on the basis of 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.
All video entries must be submitted online at www.youngscientistchallenge.com no later than April 15.
For more information on the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, including submission guidelines, tips from previous winners and complete rules, visit www.youngscientist-challenge.com.

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