Follow Us

Press Release: Silver Spring, Md. Discovery Education and 3M have announced that Alex Hart-Upendo, a fifth grade student from Gifford School (Racine Unified School District) has been named the state merit winner for Wisconsin in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challengethe nation’s premier middle school science competition. Hart-Upendo was chosen as one of 34 state merit winners nationwide for developing an innovative solution to an everyday problem that could ultimately improve and reshape the way we live our lives.

Students nationwide were asked to create a short video describing a new innovation or idea that could solve or impact an everyday problem that directly affects them, their families, their communities or the global population. Hart-Upendo rose to the top of the competition out of hundreds of submissions due to his passion for science, spirit of innovation, ingenuity and effective communication skills demonstrated in his entry video. The budding young scientist has been recognized for his “Lullaby Sleep Apnea App” project – an early detection app that leverages algorithms and a bluetooth Sa02 sensor to determine blood oxygen levels. To help people with sleep apnea like his little brother Aven, 4 years old that stops breathing 36 times an hour. Alex’s video submission here:

Hart-Upendo will receive special recognition on the challenge website,, and a technology prize pack. Ten overall national finalists have also been selected to advance to the next round and will participate in a final competition at the 3M Innovation Center in October. 3M is a materials science company known worldwide for its innovative culture and ubiquitous brands like Post-it® Notes and Scotch(R) Magic tape.

3M has been a title sponsor of the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for more than 10 consecutive years. The program has produced 10 brilliant winners and 90 finalists who have gone on to give TED Talks, file patents, found nonprofits, make the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange and compete in the White House Science Fair. These young innovators have been featured in Good Morning America, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The New York Times Magazine, Forbes, Business Insider and more.

For more information on the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, including photos and bios of the 10 finalists and a list of the state merit winners, please visit

Alex Hart Upendo

About Discovery Education: As the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12 classrooms worldwide, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional learning, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries around the globe. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Explore the future of education at

About 3M: At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $32 billion in sales, our 91,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at

Watch Alex in the Black Men Speak Video Series