Kids have fun with science, thanks to 3M

Getting kids excited about science and technology is the first step in building a pipeline of science and engineering talent. 3M is a partner with the U of M’s College of Science and Engineering youth programs aimed at sparking interest in STEM subjects.

3M support is key to these signature programs, which are especially targeted at families, and low-income and disadvantaged youth:


Fun and interactive Energy and U shows use explosions, flames, flying pop bottles, music, and dancing to help youth learn the first law of thermodynamics, the scale of world energy use, and the significant energy challenges that we face.

  • Target audience: grades 3-6
  • Shows are free, thanks to 3M funding
  • 2019 shows planned for U of M’s Twin Cities campus in January and May
  • 13,000+ students in 2018: 55% students of color, 53% from low-income families
  • Organized by Department of Chemistry, and Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science


The popular Physics Force brings the excitement and wonder of physics to thousands of youth each year

  • Target audience: youth and families
  • Shows are free, thanks in part to 3M funding
  • 3M funding helped expand the program to Rochester, Minnesota
  • 2019 shows are planned for the U of M’s Twin Cities campus in January, and Rochester in May
  • Upcoming shows will be better than ever, with live fire, lightning, a crushing barrel, and a performer falling from a tower
  • Organized by the School of Physics and Astronomy


Discover STEM is a week-long summer day camp designed for 11th and 12th-graders wanting a hands-on introduction to STEM careers. 

  • In 2018, 75 participants: 57% female, 60% students of color, 7% potential 1st generation college students
  • Students experience lab experiments, science and technology demonstrations, and experience campus and residential life
  • 6 scholarship recipients attended for free
  • Total camp fee is $100, thanks to 3M support

Corporate sponsors are key to the success of our K-12 outreach programs. Thank you, 3M!


Learn more about the College of Science and Engineering’s K-12 outreach programs


Photos: College of Science and Engineering


CSE-College of Science and Engineering

CSOM-Carlson School of Management

DENT-School of Dentistry

ICA-Intercollegiate Athletics

OED-Office of Equity and Diversity

STEM-Science, Technology, Engineering, Math

UMMCH-M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital