It’s easy to get your child involved in a STEM competition because their are loads of options when it comes to science, technology, robotics, and creative problem-solving competitions for students in and around Chicago. Most of these Chicago events, though, are simply part of larger national or international STEM competitions. Still, we’re lucky to have so many opportunities for STEM enrichment right in our backyard.
This post lists STEM competitions that are open to area students. Although it’s comprehensive, it’s still a work in progress. If you want to help us make it even better, drop us a note at TheMakerMom (at) hotmail (dot) com, with a couple of lines and a link (please) to any we missed.
If you’re looking to attend a Chicago STEM competition, be sure to check out Events section to see where and when you can watch the fun. Or, click here if you want to add a STEM or STEAM event to our calendar.
2018 STEM Competitions for Students in Chicagoland (and Beyond)
Aviation Design Challenge The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) sponsors the Aviation Design Challenge to promote STEM education through aviation in high schools across the United States. Entry period starts in early February. Entries must be received by April.
BotBall competitive robotics league for middle and high school students. There’s a junior challenge for elementary school students.
Congressional App Challenge Entries are typically due in late October or early November.
Destination Imagination Students hone their team work and creative problem solving skills as they join together to solve open-ended challenges and present their ideas at tournaments.
Emperor Science Award 100 winning students in grades 10 or 11 are paired with a university-level mentoring scientist to collaborate (virtually or in a lab) on an important cancer research project. Entry period usually runs from mid-January to mid-March.
FIRST League competitive robotics for students ages 9-16.
Future City Competition for middle school students that opens each summer with finals in Washington, D.C. in February of the following year.
Future Problem Solvers With a mission to “develop the ability of young people globally to design and promote positive futures using critical, creative thinking,” this program is more exciting than it may sound.
Intel ISEF International Science Fair
MATE ROV Marine Advanced Technology Education Remote Operated Vehicle, or underwater robotics competition for kindergarten up through university level.
Moody’s Mega Math Challenge Competition for high school students. It is a math modeling contest that will push you to the limits of what you know about math and test your ability to work as a team and under strict time restraints.
National Science Bowl The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Science Bowl® is a nationwide academic competition that tests students’ knowledge in all areas of science and mathematics. Middle and high school student teams from diverse backgrounds are comprised of four students, one alternate, and a teacher who serves as an advisor and coach.
National STEM Video Game Competition Open to 5-8th grade students (or kids 9-13). Entry period typically runs April through August with finalists announced in early fall.
Odyssey of the Mind A focus on finding creative solutions to challenges that may also require students to invent and build or possibly require them to script and act.
Science Olympiad for middle and high school students.
Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) is the world’s largest student rocket contest. The contest challenges students to design, build and fly a rocket to safely carry a raw egg payload to a specific altitude and back within a certain amount of time. Registration opens in the fall and finals take place in the spring.
VEX Robotics VEX IQ for elementary and middle school students, VEX for middle, high school and college
World of 7 Billion Student Video Contest To enter, students create a video of up to one minute long about human population growth and highlight either public health, deforestation, or water scarcity, noting how population growth impacts the issue and at least one idea for a sustainable solution. The competition is open to middle and high school students. Entry deadline is usually in late February.
Young Scientist Challenge Do you know a middle school student who has what it takes? All it takes is a great idea, a bit of research, and a way to record a video. Click for details. Americas Top Young Scientist will win $25,000, a chance to work with a 3M mentor and more. Also, our publisher, Kim Moldofsky, is a long-time guest contributor to their blog. Entries are typically due in late April.