America’s Top Young Scientist and 3M leaders participate in Black History Month discussion with STEM youth
Feb 13, 2024

In honor of Black History Month, 3M recently welcomed more than 30 St. Paul STEM high school students to its campus to learn from America’s Top Young Scientist, Heman Bekele, and several 3M technical leaders about their experiences, challenges and inspirations during their careers.

Heman, who was named the winner of 3M’s Young Scientist Challenge in October 2023 for his skin-cancer treating soap, attended virtually and shared his experience about seeking support outside of school and family, his commitment to time management, and the importance of curiosity. The audience, who were mostly students of color, were able to engage with Heman and ask questions about his failures, perseverance, and resilience.

The event was organized by the 3M Black Leadership Advancement Coalition (BLAC) whose mission is to accelerate the inclusion and advancement of diverse talent at 3M to reflect our diverse markets and grow our business by attracting, developing and retaining Black talent.

After Heman’s talk, the high schoolers had a chance to hear from a panel of 3M Black scientists and engineers. The panelists spoke about their roles at 3M and the benefits of having a scientific background in business and management positions. The group also discussed challenging experiences of representation they’ve encountered, but emphasized the importance of friends, allies, and a likeminded community for support.    

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