Traditional “science fair”- type competitions, intended for a student doing an original research project in science, technology, engineering or math (with adult mentoring)
(Intel and Siemens have deadlines so early in the academic year that you really have to have done the science the year before)
The nation’s most prestigious science research competition for high school seniors. Used to be called Westinghouse. Prizes ($7,500 – $100,000) awards ceremony in Washington D.C., huge recognition for winners. You have to be one high school senior. Apply with completed project in mid-November, selections in January, awards ceremony in March. Application forms are as complicated as applying for grants, or college. You really need to have completed the actual science in your Junior year, or over the summer.
Students submitting individual projects must be 12th graders. Team projects can be 2-3 people and do not need to include a 12th grader. Cash prizes $10K – $100K. September 30 deadline for completed project, then November science fair at Caltech in Pasadena. If you win. You go on to December fair in Washington, D.C. So you really have to have done the actual science and writing during your Junior year, or over the summer.
(These have deadlines late enough so you can do the science the same year you submit your entry):
Submit a science project with an April deadline. Top 15 present their work at Google HQ in Mountain View, CA. Anyone 13-18 is eligible, almost worldwide. Individual, or team of up to three. Prizes $800 – $75,000.
This is a traditional Science Fair Project. Students carry out a science project with hypothesis, experimental design, independent and dependent variables, results, conclusion. Put it all on a trifold poster and display at the MCOE science fair in March at the Bay Model in Sausalito. Due dates: Jan. – March. Groups may enter, but they can’t advance to the Bay Area Science Fair. Drake High School as a whole is limited to 30 projects, and some other students do this too.
A 3-day meeting in March held at the Lawrence Hall of Science. Despite the name, this is all about advanced science & technology projects. Students attend the meeting and present an original science research paper. There are some cash prizes of $1000 – $2000 and winners get to go the National Symposium in May (East Coast) and an international one (London?) over the summer. January deadline for completed project. Only three entries per school. Only one student enters the project, although he or she can have had help and two other students could attend the meeting along with him or her as non-presenters. It’s not really set up for groups, though.
“Provides high school students the opportunity to compete and be recognized for outstanding research in biotechnology. Having completed its eleventh year as a program managed and hosted by the Institute, participants – over 1100 high school students’ to-date – design an original independent biotech research project that is judged by an expert panel. The top participants showcase their research at the BIO International Convention to over 15,000 convention attendees.’ $500 – $7,500 prizes if you advance to national international competitions. Individual students only grades 9-12. April deadline.
Engineering competitions where you build something
An annual team (2-6 students) design challenge for students in grades 5-12 that introduces and reinforces the science and engineering design process with a hands-on project geared to solving a real-world problem. You design something to solve a problem, build it, test it, and bring it and your team to San Jose on Event Day in April to be publically tested and judged. This seems more suitable for after-school engineering clubs than for a classroom assignment or an individual student.
Challenges students to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient car. High school and college teams. You bring the car to one of three locations in North America (Houston in April), Europe or Asia to drive it, test it & have it judged. This is an ambitious and expensive project – it requires a teacher with a lot of mechanical engineering expertise and tens of thousands of dollars to be competitive.
InvenTeams are teams of high school students, teachers, and mentors that receive grants up to $10,000 each to invent and build technological solutions to real-world problems. Each InvenTeam (5-15 students) chooses its own problem to solve. Applicants are encouraged to consider needs of the world’s poorest people (those earning $2/day) when brainstorming invention ideas. Some InvenTeams pursue inventions that also augment STEM curriculum You apply for a $10,000 grant in March – April and get awarded it the following September, so it spans two academic years. Teacher who gets the grant travels to MIT.
Design team competitions in engineering & environmental studies:
Encourages small teams of K – 12 students to imagine what technology might be like in the future. They study a technology of interest and predict what that technology might be like 20 years from now. Teams will explore what is necessary to make their visions a reality. Past winners have envisioned technologies ranging from a self-cleaning toilet to a new method of treating diabetes. LOTS and lots of prizes, up to $10K. Timeline not posted on 5/15/13; check back later in summer. May-June awards.
“Engages teams of middle & high school students in project-based learning and collaborative problem-solving around a global theme. Through the program, students work together to research the global theme, identify a problem, and develop solutions to the problem at the local, national and global levels. Students then have a chance to present their research and solutions to the community through creative performances, exhibits, websites and documentaries at culminating live and online competitions.” October – January: Teacher professional development and student scavenger hunt. December – March: students identify an issue, do research. March- April: Present live at regional competition in San Francisco: Performance, exhibit, website, or documentary. Knowledge to action plan. Roundtable discussions. Top 10% move on to final action plan in May; chance to get funding to implement plan. This organization has offices only in San Francisco, St. Paul- Minneapolis and New York City. You have to be in these areas to be eligible.
For high school grades 9-12. Encourages student teams of 2-4 to identify an environmental issue that has global impact and to provide a viable, replicable solution. Teams must select an environmental topic relating to energy, biodiversity, land management, water conservation & clean-up and/or air & climate. Can start in September, early March deadline. Project should take 4-9 weeks. Prizes $1000 – $50,000. Winners announced in April.
This competition is only open to students from the San Francisco Bay Area, Singapore and Xi’an China. It is a research and design challenge – you write a paper attempting to solve some problem, like “clean water for all.” Teams of 2,3 or 4 students grades 7-12. October 1 start date, March deadline for round 1 entries. A few (ten total in San Francisco) get grants of $500 to build a prototype and powerpoint for round 2 in April/May. Ten prizes $500 – $5000 are awarded.
Each team is 5-10 students and two teachers. Teachers may advise more than one team. Teams make an action plan, implement it (really do it!) and make a PowerPoint about what they did. Three challenges. #1 Land/Water due by October! #2 Air/Climate due by November. #3 finalists from #1 and #2 due by January. Lots of prizes up to $30K.
Teams of 2-5 high school students and their coaches (teachers, parents) develop innovative products to help solve global and local problems while supporting global sustainability. The Challenge matches participants with scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs as mentors. Student teams compete for awards and recognition, including a chance to attend the annual Innovation Summit at the Johnson Space Center in Houston where they will present their products and vie for seed grants, patent support and commercial opportunities. One-page abstract due in October. If you are selected to move on, you do more throughout the year.