5 STEM Competitions for Young Scientists

Whether you’re a parent looking for ways to motivate your young scientist or a student with a desire to compete for awesome prizes, STEM competitions provide a great challenging atmosphere for students to design solutions while meeting other students with a passion for STEM fields.

[Related: 7 STEM Festivals for Kids]

Do you know of a young scientist who would love a  $25,000 trip to Costa Rica, the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist” or a $50,000 in scholarship funding to further the Grand Prize winner’s education? If so, check out the competitions below.

Ecybermission — A web based science, technology, engineering and mathematics competition for 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade teams. Ecybermission take the science fair out of the auditorium and into cyberspace. Here’s how it works: eCYBERMISSION challenges you to explore how science, technology, engineering and mathematics work in your world. Then your team will propose a solution to a real problem in your community and compete for State, Regional and National Awards.

ExploraVision – A fun and engaging program designed for K — 12 students. The competition, open to students enrolled in public, private or home school in the United States and Canada, inspires students and teachers to explore science, technology and innovation.

Here’s how it works: A teacher sponsors and leads his/her students as they work in groups of 2 — 4 to simulate real research and development. Students pick a current technology, research it, envision what it might look like in 20 years, and describe the development steps, pros & cons, and obstacles. Past winners have envisioned technologies ranging from a hand-held food allergen detector to a new device to help people who have lost limbs regain movement in real time.

Google Science Fair – A global online science and technology competition open to individuals and teams from ages 13 to 18. The 20 finalists, along with a parent or guardian, will travel to Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA to present their project to the judges and compete for awards in different categories including engineering, natural sciences and more.

Prizes and awards range from a $50,000 in scholarship funding to further the Grand Prize winner’s education and mentorship from a Googler to a LEGO Education backpack, accompanied by one LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 core set, charger and single software license.

Young Scientist Challenge —The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge is a middle school science competition for grades 5-8. Here’s how it works: Students create a 1-2 minute video describing a new, innovative solution that could solve an everyday problem. Then ten finalists are chosen for their passion for science, spirit of innovation and ingenuity, and effective communication skills. The final event will take place at 3M Headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota, October 11-13, to participation in a unique summer mentorship with a 3M scientist.

The Future City Competition –  Provides an opportunity for students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade to imagine, design, and build cities of the future. Here’s how it works: Students work as a team with an educator and engineer mentor to plan cities using SimCityâ„¢ software. Then teams research and write solutions to an engineering problem; build tabletop scale models with recycled materials; and present their ideas before judges at Regional Competitions in January. Regional winners represent their region at the National Finals in Washington, DC in February.

Parents, educators and administrators around the world are actively trying to find ways to get more kids involved in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math–education programs.

Do you know of any STEM competitions in you area? Please share with us in the comments section below.