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Science Competitions

Updated on March 2, 2013

Every year, more than 9 million children enter science competitions, but only about 9,000 of those students go on to enter the top-level science competitions open for high school students. Science competitions provide children with a wonderful opportunity to expand their scientific knowledge and apply what they’ve learned. Here are some science competitions you can get your child involved in this year.

Grades K-8 Competitions

The Exploravision competition enables students to envision to imagine what technology might be like in the future. Students form teams with 2-4 people and come up with an idea to take an existing technology and implement it in a new way. An example from a past year's entry is the "Smart Refrigerator" that has a bar code scanner in it. As you put groceries into the fridge or take them out, you scan the bar code to enable you to keep a running inventory of your groceries. The refrigerator also provides you with recipes based on your inventory. This competition is open for students in grades K-12 and is free to enter. The application deadline for 2013 is January 31, 2013. First prize is a savings bond worth $10,000 at maturity for each student.

This competition is open for students in grades 5-8. Students identify an everyday problem then create a video to describe the solution to the problem that they come up with. The solution must be a new innovation or solution, not an existing product used in a new way. The application deadline for 2013 is April 23, 2013. This competition is free to enter. The top prize is $25,000.

This essay competition is open to students in grades 3-12. Students write an essay detailing a technological advance in the treatment of heart disease, stroke, influenza, emphysema, or COPD. The application deadline for 2013 is March 1, 2013. The first-place prize is $500.00.

This competition enables students ages 10 & up to construct, prepare, and launch a rocket in order to foster an interest in model rocketry and space science. Three national winners win a trip to the U.S. Space Camp, and three national winners win a trip to the Kennedy Space Center Hall of Fame celebration.

For over 29 years, students in grades K-12 have competed in this team competition. Students compete for medals and trophies. The emphasis is on learning, participation, interaction, having fun and developing team spirit. Each competing team is required to pay a $60 national membership fee.

eCYBERMISSION is a free online science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) competition for students in grades 6-9 where teams can compete for State, Regional and National Awards. The goal of the competition is for students to work on solving problems in their community. The application deadline is March 6, 2013.

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Grades 9-12 Competitions

This competition encourages individuals or teams to create an independent research project in a field relating to math, science, or technology. The competition is open to students in grades 9-12 and is free to join. National finalists are awarded scholarships ranging from $10,000 - $100,000. The competition deadline is October 1.

This competition enables high school seniors to conduct original research in science, math, engineering, and medicine and present their work for a chance to win over $1.25 million in prizes. In March of each year, 40 finalists travel to Washington DC for interviews and the presentation of their work. Ten top winners are selected, and the top winner wins a $100,000 scholarship. The application deadline is in November.

This competition enables students in grades 9-12 to present their independent research in science, technology, engineering or mathematics for a chance to win scholarships. Students must present both a written and oral report of their research. Application deadline for the national competition is April 3, 2013.

This competition for students in grades 9-12 encourages students to perform research in biotechnology. Students compete at the state, then national, then international level. The top prize is $7,500. Applications open in December.

The Google Science Fair is an online competition for children ages 13-18. Students must formulate a hypothesis, perform an experiment, and present their results through their free Google account. The final submission must include ten sections, which are the summary, an "About Me" page, the steps of the project, and a works cited page. The submission deadline is April 30, 2013.

Entering competitions is not just about winning. Competitions increase your children's knowledge, enhance their sense of independence and creativity, help them better understand teamwork, and provide a sense of accomplishment. Why not let your child enter a competition today?


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