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Thermo Fisher Scientific and Society for Science Launch Junior Innovators Challenge to Inspire More Than 65,000 Future STEM Leaders Nationwide

Educators and school officials encouraged to drive student awareness of state and regional science fairs for a chance to enter nation’s premier middle school STEM competition

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO), the world leader in serving science, and Society for Science (the Society), today announced the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge, the nation’s premier middle school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competition. The Society named Thermo Fisher as the new title sponsor of the organization’s middle school STEM competition in August.

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(Graphic: Business Wire)

(Graphic: Business Wire)

“Society for Science is very excited to embark on this new partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of Society for Science and Publisher of Science News. “Our middle school STEM competition, now called the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge, will be impacting and celebrating students at a critical time in their development, encouraging them to continue on this important STEM pathway to college and career.”

Nearly 300 school, state and regional middle school science fairs across the country have affiliated with the Society’s science fair network and will be nominating students to compete in the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge. Sixth, seventh and eighth grade students who place in the top 10% of their science fairs are eligible to compete in the Junior Innovators Challenge, previously known as the Broadcom MASTERS. Finalists will have the opportunity to showcase their projects in Washington, D.C., compete in teams, visit historical sites and organizations that celebrate innovation, and vie for more than $100,000 in awards, including a top prize of $25,000.

“Competing in a national science fair directly influenced my path toward a STEM career. I was inspired to take high school summer classes, which led to a degree in engineering and a startup role building an innovative technology that was later acquired by Thermo Fisher,” said Jorge Fonseca, Director of Product Management for Thermo Fisher’s Genetic Sciences business and former participant in a Society for Science-hosted competition. “As the leader of that product line today, I am proud to be part of a company that expands access to STEM learning experiences like the ones that shaped my life.”

The Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge builds on the company’s longstanding commitment to widespread and equitable access to STEM education through skills-based colleague engagement and a focus on outreach and equity programs—ensuring that students served, teachers reached and nominees converted to national competitors are more representative of the U.S. population.

“By introducing students to the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge, we help them to discover that there is a place for everyone in STEM—ultimately leading to a workforce that more fully represents our society,” said Dr. Karen Nelson, chief scientific officer, Thermo Fisher Scientific. “Early exposure to STEM makes a difference. I know from personal experience that when young scientists engage in hands-on education opportunities like science competitions, they learn way more beyond the science—from creativity and adaptability, to collaboration and communication skills. That is why we are encouraging middle school educators and officials across the country to help their students enter science fairs affiliated with the Society for Science.”

The announcement of the Junior Innovators Challenge aligns with Thermo Fisher’s annual STEM Education Month campaign, which runs throughout November. More than 125,000 global colleagues are encouraged to volunteer their time to explore STEM education, engage with their local communities and inspire young learners to pursue STEM.

In 2021 alone, enabled by its Foundation for Science, Thermo Fisher supported STEM programs for more than 100,000 students and 6,500 educators in 21 countries, leveraging its industry strengths in scientific innovation and employee commitment to driving positive local change through partnerships with trusted nonprofit organizations. The Foundation amplifies the company’s support of student populations historically underrepresented in the life sciences.

To find out whether your local science fair is affiliated with the Society for Science, or to find an affiliated fair in your area, visit

About Society for Science

Society for Science is a champion for science, dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. Established in 1921, Society for Science is best known for its award-winning journalism through Science News and Science News Explores, its world-class science research competitions for students, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, and the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge, and its outreach and equity programming that seeks to ensure that all students have an opportunity to pursue a career in STEM.

A 501(c)(3) membership organization, Society for Science is committed to inform, educate and inspire. Learn more at and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (Society4Science).

About Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with annual revenue of approximately $40 billion. Our Mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. Whether our customers are accelerating life sciences research, solving complex analytical challenges, increasing productivity in their laboratories, improving patient health through diagnostics or the development and manufacture of life-changing therapies, we are here to support them. Our global team delivers an unrivaled combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience and pharmaceutical services through our industry-leading brands, including Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, Unity Lab Services, Patheon and PPD. For more information, please visit


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