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The field of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) is growing at a steady pace as businesses and corporations reach out to students for innovative ideas and ask them to compete in STEM related competitions. There are a lot of competitions in a variety of fields from arts and crafts, writing, reading, grades, and practically anything you could imagine, so why not for video game designing? Why not create a competition for creating software applications or create a world wide science fair?

Science

You may have heard of this from your science teachers, but science is all around us. Humans have always been looking for answers that science has been providing time after time. If you have bright, experimental ideas that you’d like to show the world then these competitions might be for you.

The Google Science Fair is an online science competition open to students ages 13-18 from around the globe. Google believes that access to technology and information can make the world is a better place but it shouldn’t be limited to certain areas because there are bright, innovative minds everywhere. They hope to create a place to showcase young scientific talent and give students around the world a place to share their ideas. The students will design and conduct a scientific experiment, sending in all the appropriate information online for public and private judging. The public will be able to vote for which of fifteen finalists’ projects they think has the greatest potential to change the world. The project with the most votes will win a grand prize of $10,000. As of now, the 2014 Google Science Fair is closed but it’s never too early to get ready for next year.

There are many prizes to be won such as a scholarship worth $25,000 toward each winner’s education costs. If a team wins, this funding will be divided equally among the teammates. In each age group, there can be a prize awarded to the project the judge’s think are the most innovative and helpful to the world. Along with other valuable prizes for winners and finalists.

The Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology is the nation’s top science research competition for high school students in the United States. They hope to encourage students to undertake individual or team research projects which help develop intensive research skills that improves students’ understanding of the value of scientific study and informs their consideration of future careers in the field of STEM. Participating in these competitions gives students an opportunity to meet other students with similar interests, opens new doors in the scientific field, challenges students to figure out complex world problems, and win money towards their college education.

Prizes are a scholarship between $1,000 to $100,000.

The DuPoint Challenge is for the students (7 – 12) who love science and have a certain way with words. Students can write an original essay consisting of an original 700 to 1,000 words that falls under the category of one of the four topics given. The category, “Together, we can be innovative anywhere”, allows students to write about any area of STEM that they choose. It encourages students to write about possible improvements and positive changes for our world while allowing them to chance to become informed about the world.

Prizes vary from year to year.

Imagine Cup is a competition run by Microsoft for students who are sixteen or older. There are three ‘paths’ you can take when entering the competition: the Games Competition, the Innovation Competition, or the World Citizenship Competition. The Game Path is for students who wish to design a game that entertains users and gives them a fun interactive experience. The Innovation path is for students who want to see a change in technology and the way it’s used. It’s a platform for students with big ideas on how the world could change through technology. The World Citizenship path is for people who want to make the world a better place. It’s somewhere for students to voice their ideas about social issues, solving real problems for real people. Within each path are four contests and the main contest itself.

Prizes may vary from year to year.

Technology/Engineering

The FIRST Robotics Competition is run by US First, and it’s a series of competitions for student from grades 9 – 12. According to the competition website, it “combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology.” Under a variety of limitations, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” and build as well as program robots to perform prescribed tasks against their competitors. It is an amazing experience for students who hope to get a taste of what real-world engineering is along with the help of volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team. It’s also a chance to learn and use sophisticated software and hardware.

There are over a hundred prizes to be won that total to be about $20 million dollars worth of potential scholarship money.

Ever want to make your own video games? Here’s you chance, in the National STEM Video Game Challenge, students will make original video games in science, technology, engineering and math using a variety of skills and creativity to win a variety of prizes. The founders of the competition hope to foster young minds by asking them to create and make their own video games. Middle schoolers, high schoolers, college students, and educators can enter in different challenge categories.

The top prizes include $40,000 and educational software.

Egirl Essay Contest, sponsored by the EngineerGirl website, is an online contest dealing with engineering and its impact on our world. It is open to students from 3rd to 12th grade who can write an original essay that meet the requirements of the Contest Description. Essays will be judged on the basis of content, research, expression, and originality.

Prizes range from honorable mentions to a possible $100-$500 reward for winners.

Mathematics

The American Mathematics Competitions is “dedicated to the goal of strengthening the mathematical capabilities of our nation’s youth. We believe that one way to meet this goal is to identify, recognize, and reward excellence in mathematics through a series of national contests…” There are a variety of contests for grades eight through twelve such as American Mathematics Contest 8 (AMC 8), American Mathematics Contest 12 (AMC 12), American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME), and United States of America Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO). For students who have a love of doing complex math problems and testing their knowledge in profound ways, those competitions are for them.

Prizes may vary for each competition.

The Importance of STEM

Stem is important to our present day times and the future. STEM is an integral part of our everyday lives whether we notice it or not. Many of the fastest growing occupations are STEM based careers, so whether you win or lose these competitions are a great way to develop your interests in the world of STEM. It’s important to start somewhere, why not today?



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  1. Michelle on April 4, 2015

    Awesome article. I appreciate how you didn’t limit your list of competitions to just the popular research and math competitions.

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