This is a sponsored message on behalf of the Young Scientist Challenge


Our long-time readers know we’re big advocates of teaching kids to think critically, solve problems, and use their imaginations. In fact, we’re pretty much counting on the next generation of adults to have those skills, because the world needs them more than ever right now.

And hey, if your tween or teen has ever figured out how to get around your phone’s screen time restrictions, you know how smart kids can be!

Well maybe there’s a better way to channel all those problem-solving skills for good: If you’re the parent or teacher of a middle schooler, or just have some clever tweens in your life in grades 5 through 8, they could win $25,000 from the 2021 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

No need to get any crazy supplies or build an exploding volcano that takes down your kitchen. It’s not a science fair, but a contest of ideas.

In fact, entering is as easy as thinking up a unique solution to an everyday problem, and then recording a 1-2 minute video describing it.

That’s it!

While the grand prize winner will receive $25,000, there are some other terrific prizes too. The top 10 finalists will get an exclusive summer mentorship with a 3M scientist, and who knows what incredible opportunities that can lead to. Plus, you know — bragging rights. I mean, this is basically the ultimate middle school STEM competition. Past winners have even gone on to give TedX talks, start their own non-profits, make some cool national morning show appearances, even meet President Obama at the White House.

Plus, it looks pretty good on a college application. Just saying.

Gintajali Rao, past winner of the 3M Discovery Young Scientist Challenge, is now Time's Kid of the Year. Here's how to enter in the 2021 challenge (sponsor)

Interested? Yay! Just check out their step-by-step guide to the Young Scientist Challenge entry process, which includes helpful thought-starters, video tips and answers to whatever questions you may have. While you’re there, you’ll find tons of free STEM resources and activities for your kids too, whether or not your kid decides to enter.

But they should! Especially because it would be so cool if a Cool Mom Picks kid is the winner. Like we wouldn’t write a massive article about them? Of course we would.

Learn more about how to enter 2021 3M Young Scientists Challenge through this link, and good luck! You’ve got until April 27, 2021.