Today's contest is for my U.S. middle school friends. (If that doesn't describe you, skip ahead to the last paragraph!)
Discovery Education and 3M are sponsoring the 10th Annual Young Scientist Challenge, "designed to encourage the exploration of science and innovation among America's youth and to promote the importance of science communication." The contest runs between January 15 - May 20, 2009.
To enter, kids in grades 5-8 must submit a 1-2 minute video online entry about one of four topic areas chosen by the judges (as per the rules). The entries will be pared down to 51 over the summer, with one semifinalist chosen from each state (and DC). In the fall, ten finalists will fly to New York for a final round of contests and judging. (Last year's final challenges were all about outer space!) Those reaching semi-final status and beyond win cool prizes, with the winner receiving $50,000 in U.S. savings bonds, a trophy, and the title of "America's Top Young Scientist."
For my friends outside of the U.S. (along with those closer to home!), check out Discovery Education's whelmers, ten science experiments to try at home. They also have a great page of Science Homework Help, with videos and interactive games on Earth Science (waterways), Physical Science (chemical changes), and Life Science (backyard habitats).