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Written by:  Odile Fredericks
Date: March 4, 2012

Do you have a creative spirit in your house? In my home, my son often surprises me with his inventions. He dreams up ways to make gadgets work better and comes up with ideas for products that don't exist. He often uses recycled material he's collected to bring some of his musings to life.

It's inspiring to watch the younger generation work on solutions for the future, and if you're like me, you're looking for ways to encourage that enthusiasm. An upcoming science-related show, some contests, book giveaways and online resources might tickle their fancy. They are designed to interest budding inventors and children who are naturally curious. You know who I'm talking about. They're the kids always asking you questions that you don't know the answers to!

Discovery Channel's MythBusters co-hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage are known for exposing science fact versus fiction. Their new live stage show titled MythBusters: Behind the Myths will be coming to the Progress Energy Center Memorial Auditorium, in Raleigh, on March 25. Learn more about the show, which features on-stage experiments, videos and behind-the-scenes stories, in this Carolina Parent article. If you're interested in a chance to win a MythBusters Science Fair book and other science-themed books for your children, enter our giveaway on our contests page.

These upcoming science contests are designed to reward creative minds:

1) Discovery Education's and 3M's Young Scientist Challenge 2012 contest is looking for students in grades 5 through 8 who can come up with an innovative way to solve a problem in everyday life related to the way we move, keep ourselves healthy, make a difference. The contest for America's next "Top Young Scientist" is open to students attending public, private, parochial or home school.  To enter, students need to submit a short video that explains the problem, and describes behind their solution. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m., ET, April 19.  Ten finalists will be chosen for a summer mentorship program, where they work directly with a 3M scientist on an invention. These finalists will present their innovation at the 3M Convention Center for a chance to win $25,000.    Learn more at

2) The Science Buddies-Astellas Rosalind Franklin Chemistry Contest is open to students in grades 6 through 12. Though the contest is open to both male and female students, the contest is especially encouraging young female scientists to pursue career paths in chemistry. Students can enter either an original science project in the field of chemistry or a project based on a Science Buddies Chemistry Project Idea. The student submissions will be judged on creativity, scientific thought, thoroughness, skill and clarity of presentation. Complete details are available at the Science Buddies website. Cash prizes will be awarded to top students in grades 9-12 and in grades 6-8. Both a male and female winner will be selected in each grade range. To be considered, entries must be submitted on or before 7PM PST, April 1, 2012. For more information on Science Buddies, visit

You'll find more resources to encourage your child in exploring science through hands-on activities in these Carolina Parent articles:

Helping with Science Fair Project Preparation

Create Backyard Habitat

Grow a Crop of Young Scientists this Summer


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