WCASD Student Takes Top Honors in Pennsylvania in Nationwide Middle School Science Competition


Pooja Menon, a rising eighth-grader at J.R. Fugett Middle School in the West Chester Area School District, is the State Merit Winner in the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

As the nation’s premier middle school science competition, young scientists submitted projects utilizing the power of STEM to improve the world.

The 3M Young Scientist Challenge asks students in grades 5-8 to identify an everyday problem they’re passionate about and submit a one- to two-minute video communicating the science behind their solution to solve the problem. An esteemed group of judges, including 3M scientists and leaders in education from across the country, evaluated entries based on creativity, scientific knowledge, and communication effectiveness.

Menon’s project was titled “Ecofriendly Encapsulation for Efficient Use and Controlled Release.”

“Inspirational moments of community are all around us, and the need for action is clearly strong,” said Denise Rutherford, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at 3M. “Now more than ever, we are looking to the next generation to help improve the world we live in, and the 3M Young Scientist Challenge is a great platform for them to express what and how they want to see change.

“The 2020 finalists and state merit winners prove once again that young minds combine STEM skills with imagination and creativity to identify and solve a real-world problem using science. They will undoubtedly build on their knowledge and experience with science to impact the future, and that is something for us all to embrace.”

The 27 State Merit Winners were selected for their passion for STEM, innovation, and superb communication skills. Each State Merit Winner receives special recognition on the challenge website, along with a special technology prize pack.

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