The Ultimate Guide to STEM Competitions & Events for 2024

Ryan Barone
May 15, 2023

Competition can ignite a hidden spark with us, transporting otherwise mundane moments into thrilling opportunities. Whether competing in sports match-ups or STEM events, online or in person, solo or as part of a team, competition can propel us forward, driving innovation and excellence. 

Local showdowns and nationwide spectacles in STEM provide the chance for budding enthusiasts and seasoned champions alike to understand their skills, test them against highly skilled peers, and set their sights on areas for improvement.

2024 Update: This list includes some events in 2025 and others who have yet to announce their 2024 plans. We recommend bookmarking competitions that look like a good fit and signing up for updates directly from the competition websites. We also set aside a separate online math competitions post and hope to cover additional subjects soon!

What is a STEM competition?

STEM competitions allow for individual or student teams to solve a specific challenge or problem through science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Many of these challenges are rooted in real-world issues, encouraging participants to use creativity and critical thinking in order to come up with innovative solutions. 

Benefits of STEM competitions

In fact, STEM competitions provide much-needed structure to those who are just looking to get started in science, technology, engineering, and math, while also acting as a skill-building opportunity for those further along in coding, game development, robotics, investing, and much more.

Benefits of STEM competitions include opportunities for students to think critically and work autonomously in some instances, or in others, to work together in teams, strengthening collaborative and social skills.

Also, for those taking their first steps in STEM, the right competition can provide a low-pressure, low barrier to entry opportunity. For more advanced students, plenty of more involved, limit-testing experiences are available.

And let's not forget—most competitions have prizes, which means, especially for online and virtual events, a STEM competition can stand out as a way for kids to earn money from home

Anyway, as you can see, much like STEM programs for kids, such events offer opportunities for anyone falling anywhere on the experience scale. Either way, all participants can expect real-world problem solving, challenges requiring hands-on involvement, and out-of-the-box thinking—not bad, right? We haven’t talked about the fun and enjoyment factor.

How to get started

As mentioned, the good thing is, there are tons of competitions to consider—and more being added each year—with some solely taking place online and others requiring more in-person involvement.

The bad thing? I have no idea where you live, and will have to do my best to list all of the major STEM competitions I can find! Thus, this list is fluid, and while we are only a few months into the new year, some opportunities have already come and gone.

So keep this post in your pocket! Refer to it regularly, and let me know in the comments if you have an event you think should be added.

Please note that iD Tech has no affiliation with any of these events, and this listing does not serve as an endorsement. These are simply snapshots of the different events at this time. For up to date info, you’ll want to check each listed website for dates and other specifics.

New 2024 STEM competitions

2024 National STEM Challenge

What: Using the scientific method or engineering design process, carry out a project that encourages responsible stewardship of the environment and its natural resources. Teams must illustrate their innovation in a 3-page PDF document to vie for the chance to represent their state/territory.

Who: Students in grades 6-12.

When: For the 2023-2024 cycle, September 12, 2023 marked the start of the Ideation & Design Phase. Teams had a window of October 4 to November 15 to submit their entries, and challenge finalists were announced December 22, 2023. On February 12, 2024, the top 200 National Champions were announced—they earned an all-expenses-paid vacation to the National Stem Festival on April 12, 2024. Expect future iterations to follow similar cycles.

Where: The National STEM Festival is hosted in Washington, D.C. in 2024.

Prize: Champions have the opportunity to present their projects to some of the most influential leaders in the country.

Get involved: Visit and

Neuroscience Research Prize

What: The AAN Neuroscience Research Prize aims to stimulate high school students' exploration of the brain and nervous system, recognizing scientific potential and honoring supportive science teachers.

What else to know: Applicants must submit a completed form, a 300-word abstract, a research report, and a bibliography, along with signatures from parents/guardians, teachers, and mentors. Judges, comprising physicians and scientists from the American Academy of Neurology, assess entries based on relevance to neuroscience, creativity in problem-solving, data interpretation, and the quality of the research report. Projects must address neurological aspects, demonstrate creative problem-solving, offer feasible methodologies, and present organized reports with clear figures and tables.

Who: Open to high school students in the United States, regardless of age (this project is for individual competition only—teams are not allowed).

When: Applications opened June 27, 2023 and closed November 2. Applications are reviewed, and finalist notifications are announced in January 2024. Finalists undergo additional evaluation by two judges, with winners chosen based on the criteria outlined above.

Where: Virtual

Prize: Three runner-up prize winners receive $1,000, a certificate of merit, and the chance to present their project during a poster session at the 76th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Denver, CO. Additionally, all three winners and their parent/mentor receive free coach flight tickets, two nights of accommodations, $100 per diem for expenses up to two days, and complimentary AAN Meeting registration. The first-place prize winner will receive an additional night, ground transportation, and the chance to present their poster at the 2024 Child Neurology Society Annual Meeting.

Get involved: 

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Jr. Try-Math-A-Lon (TMAL)

What: Try-Math-A-Lon (TMAL) is a tutoring initiative targeting underrepresented STEM groups, nurturing study skills and readiness for exams like ACT and SAT, enhancing STEM course success, and encouraging competition and sportsmanship. Teams of 9th to 12th-grade students engage in in-person team testing and a quiz bowl within TMAL competitions.

Who: Teams can be made up of four students and a required alternate (grades 9 and 10 for Lower Division and grades 11 and 12 for Upper Division). All teammates must be active members of NSBE Jr.

When: Each team participates in the FRC (Fall Regional Conferences) Competitions and takes a Performance Assessment Test (PAT)—results were due February 19, 2024. Finalists attend the TMAL National Competition from March 20-24, 2024.

Where: The NSBE’s 50th Annual Convention is held in Atlanta, GA. The TMAL National Competition takes place here.

Prize: Visit the website to learn about prizes for the Upper Division and Lower Division groups.

Get involved: 

United States Super STEM Competition

What: The United States Super STEM Competition (USSSC) is a nonprofit organization hosting an annual event aimed at challenging the creativity of middle school, high school, and college students. The 2023 focus is on showcasing innovative skills towards the common goal of success. Participants register online for their desired division, adhere to Official Rules while building their projects, and submit within specified dates for recognition awards. Eligible students can also apply for the Susan Sanford Memorial STEM Scholarship.

Who: Any/all students in the world – regardless of educational institution affiliation – are eligible to participate.

When: Registration is from January 1 to May 31, 2024. The winners will be selected and announced in June 2024. Register by division here.

Where: The competition will be hosted at Somerset Berkley Regional High School in Somerset, MA.

Prize: Recognition is reserved for several prize-winners, along with prizes for the top winner in each of the 14 Divisions: aerospace, impossible, 3D printing, transportation, automotive, biomimicry, mechanical, architecture, graphics, music, sports, structural, clean energy, and agriculture. The Susan Sanford Memorial STEM Scholarship of $1,000 is awarded to a female student enrolled at a US college/university.

Get involved: Visit 

First Tech CENTERSTAGE℠ presented by RTX Challenge

What: FIRST Tech Challenge goes beyond robotics, challenging teams of 7th to 12th graders to design, build, program, and operate robots in head-to-head competitions. With guidance from coaches and mentors, students develop STEM skills, learn engineering principles, and foster teamwork and innovation. The reusable robot kit can be coded in Java, and teams engage in fundraising, branding, and community outreach for awards.

Who: Students ages 12-18 compete in teams guided by adult mentors and coaches. These students are highly encouraged to form strong team rapport and serve as community ambassadors for FIRST and STEM, in general.

When: The CENTERSTAGE℠ presented by RTX challenge debuted September 9, 2023. “Build and Practice Season” runs from September to January with some Qualifying Season overlap from October to March. Depending on the location, state/regional championships occur from December to March, with the World Championship taking place April 15-20, 2024.

Where: The FIRST Championship will take place at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX.

Prize: Participants can apply for over $80M in college scholarships, culminating in regional championships and the FIRST Championship.

Get involved: and 

Mission 2024: Eclipse (Aerial Drone Competition)

What: In dynamic teams of 3-5, complete four challenging missions focused on drone programming, flight, and related skills: (1) Teamwork Mission, (2) Autonomous Flight Mission, (3) Piloting Skills Mission, and (4) Communications Mission. In the Piloting Skills Challenge, for example, teams steer a drone through an obstacle course.

Who: Students in grades 5-12 compete in teams at the local and national levels.

When: April marks the season opener for team registration, and the game is revealed in September of that year. Local qualifying events take place from October 2023 to March 2024, with district championships held in March and April. Regional championships span two days:

  • Northeast, North Central regions: May 17-18, 2024
  • Southeast region: April 12-13, 2024
  • South Central region: April 19-20, 2024
  • West region: May 31 to June 1, 2024
  • JROTC National Championship: April 4-6, 2024
  • Middle School Only Championship: May 16-17, 2024

Where: Aerial Drone Competition Regional Championships are held at various college campuses throughout the U.S., including Fairmont, WV (Northeast), Jackson, MS (Southeast), Flint, MI (North Central), Tulsa, OK (South Central), Salt Lake City, UT (West), Batesville, MS (JROTC), and Chattanooga, TN (middle school-only).

Prize: Competitors can earn two types of awards: performance-based and judged. Performance awards are determined by performance in the Teamwork Mission, Piloting Mission, and Autonomous Flight Missions. Judged awards use specific criteria to identify one team from each grade level. Sometimes, individual recognition is awarded to those who stand out as helpful mentors or sponsors. 

Get involved: 

Solar Car Challenge

What: The Solar Car Challenge drives STEM engagement by inspiring students in Science, Engineering, and Alternative Energy. Since 1989, its education program has taught high schoolers to build and race solar cars safely. Through hands-on workshops, virtual learning, and curriculum materials, the program supports schools nationwide. 

Who: Teams (including drivers) can be made up of high school students enrolled in grades 9-12 from the same school district.

When: Intent to Race filing began September 1, 2023, with a deadline of January 31, 2024. Workshops are generally held during this time on topics like welding, building solar cars, soldering, and building as a team. March 1 was the deadline for Official Registration. The 2024 Solar Car Challenge main event takes place July 8-17, with race days on July 14-17 and an awards banquet to follow.

Where: Culminating in a closed-track event at Texas Motor Speedway or a cross-country race, students showcase their solar cars, concluding each two-year education cycle.

Prize: Prizes are awarded based on judging within different divisions.

Get involved:

British International Education Association (BIEA) 2024 International STEM Competition

What: The 2024 theme of the BIEA International Stem Competition challenges participants to confront fashion waste. Our planet, supporting life for millennia, faces destabilization due to rapid population growth. The United Nations SDGs aim to safeguard humanity and the Earth. The 2024 BIEA STEM Youth Competition centers on the 12th SDG, Responsible Consumption and Production. It urges tomorrow's leaders to envision sustainable futures, fostering creative solutions for harmonious coexistence between humans and the planet.

Who: Only candidates from certain countries are eligible to apply (see list). Students from age 6 to 17/18 are welcome to compete.

When: December 20, 2023 marked the start date for registering to receive the Report Stage Guideline Publication download link. A Sustainable Fashion STEM Forum was held in Westminster on February 1, 2024, and all project submissions are due March 31, 2024. The International Round is online and will take place in May/June of 2024, with the final showcase set for July 9.

Where: Online/worldwide. The 2024 final and showcase are in London, England.

Prize: Multiple prizes are awarded for the Grand Prize, Champion, 1st-3rd Prize, and other recognitions.

Get involved: 

Space Settlement Design Competitions

What: Experience the real-life processes of working as a vital member of the aerospace industry proposal team. Mentors serve as “Company CEOs” and participants receive invaluable guidance from industry leaders as they create a design for an “existing” space infrastructure.

Who: Students (ages 15 and up) from any high school in the U.S. or Canada – in “companies” as large as 60 – can compete in this event.

When: The Competition culminates with “company” presentations of their design briefings to a panel of judges. The high school competition runs June 21-23, 2024 and the college competition takes place June 18-20, 2024.

Where: Finals occur at the NASA Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, FL.

Prize: Visit the website for information on prizes.

Get involved:

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow

What: Samsung Solve for Tomorrow encourages students in grades 6–12 to utilize STEM to tackle local community issues. By applying Problem-based Learning (PBL), environmental stewardship, and entrepreneurship, U.S. Gen Z students drive change and address societal challenges. The competition fosters hands-on learning, rendering STEM tangible and demonstrating its practical significance in real-world contexts.

Who: Public/charter school educators teaching students in grades 6-12 may register their teams. Only schools that are at least 50% publicly funded may compete.

When: Teachers have from August 29 to November 14, 2023 to register their student team. State Finalists are announced from December 5 to January 11, 2024. State Winners are named from January 30 to March 7. National Finalists are recognized on March 26. The public votes for their favorite of the top ten National Finalists on social media platforms from March 5 to April 2, 2024. The final judging event takes place on April 29, 2024.

Where: Check the website—this location will be announced soon!

Prize: 10 National Finalist schools receive a $50,000 prize package with similar products/resources and a trip to a special location (TBA) to pitch their solution for a chance to become a National Winner. Three National Winner schools receive a $100,000 prize package, inclusive of Samsung products and classroom instructional resources. Other awards include:

  • $50,000 Sustainability Innovation Award (chosen from among 50 State Winners)
  • $25,000 Rising Entrepreneurship Award (chosen from among 50 State Winners)
  • $12,000 each to 50 State Winners
  • $2,500 each to 300 schools named as State Finalists

Get involved:

Rocket City Math League

What: A FREE international math competition divided into four tests (Intertest, Round 1, Round 2, Round 3) and various levels:

  • Explorer Level: Pre-algebra
  • Mercury Level: Algebra
  • Gemini Level: Geometry
  • Apollo Level: Algebra II
  • Discovery Level: Pre-calculus and calculus

Who: Eligible participants include middle school, high school, and two-year college students enrolled in pre-algebra through pre-calculus courses (or those that are progressively more difficult).

When: The Interschool Test was administered November 1-15, 2023, with results due November 17. Round 1 took place from January 9-18, 2024 and Round 2 took place from February 6-15. Round 3 – the final round – will take place March 6-22, 2024.

Where: Online

Prize: The top 20 individual winners in each of the five “levels” will receive individual awards; additionally, the top 10 teams in each level receive team awards.

Get involved: 

STEM competitions for high school students

Congressional App Challenge

What: A public challenge where students must code and build an app of their choice. The apps are judged in district-wide competitions hosted by Members of Congress.


Who: High school students.

When: Pre-registration for 2024 is now open! Eligible pre-registered students can start coding for the 2024 competition, which runs from May 1 to October 24, 2024.

Where: Online.

Prize: Winners receive recognition by their Member of Congress and have their work put on display in the Capitol Building.

Get involved:

Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS)

What: The nation’s oldest and most prestigious science competition. Entrants to this competition must conduct an original independent research project and supplement their applications with recommendation letters and transcripts.

What else: 13 alumni have won the Nobel Prize (wow!).

Who: Any student who is enrolled in or attending their senior year of high school.

When: The application period for the 2024 competition is open from June 1 to November 7, 2024! The Top 40 finalists will be announced in January 2025, and Regeneron STS Finals Week is mid-March 2025. 

Where: 40 finalists are selected and receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for in-depth judging.

Prize: Over $2 million in awards are given; first-place prize is $250,000.

Get involved:

THINK Challenges

2023 Note: 2023 Registration is closed.

What: Organized by a group of undergraduates from MIT, this competition is for high school students who are in the early stages of an original research project, rather than being fully completed.

Who: High school students.


When: The 2023-2024 application window is now closed. It typically runs November 1 to January 1. Finalists are announced in February and complete their projects by the end of June.

Where: Application is online

Prize: Normally, selected finalists are invited to a 4-day all-expenses-paid trip to MIT’s campus to meet professors in their field of research, tour labs, and network with members of the THINK team! Finalists also have weekly mentorship meetings and are given $1000 to fund their research project.

Get involved:

M3 Challenge

2024 Note: The 2024 M3 Challenge registration is closed as of February 23, 2024. 

What: The Mathworks Math Modeling (M3) Competition is one of the only mathematics competition of its kind. Students have 14 hours to solve an open-ended applied math-modeling problem focused on a real-world issue.

Who: Eleventh and twelfth graders in the United States and sixth-form students in England and Wales. Teams are comprised of 3–5 students and one teacher-coach

When: 2025 info is TBD, and “Challenge Weekend” will likely occur in March 2025.

Where: Online

Prize: Over $100,000 total in Scholarship Prizes!

Get involved:

Microsoft Imagine Cup

What: A global software and game design competition hosted by Microsoft, where teams create and build technology to solve the world’s problems.

What else: Tens of thousands of participants compete every year!

Who: The “next generation of computer science students” who are at least 16 years of age, and currently enrolled at an accredited high school or college.

When: The 2024 World Championship takes place May 4, 2024; expect 2025 registration to go live in October 2024.

Where: Online 

Prize: Grand prize is $100,000 and a mentorship session with Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella.

Get involved: 

You might also like: Minecraft competitions for kids & teens

FIRST Robotics Competition

What: An intense robotics competition typically described by students as “the hardest fun you will ever have." With limited resources and only six weeks, students are challenged to raise funds, design, build, and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against other teams.

Who: Teams of 10 or more high school students (grades 9–12).

When: Registration typically occurs in the Fall with the competition season beginning in January, culminating in the FIRST Championship in April. Check the website for more specific regional information. 


Where: There are regional/state tournaments all over the US and the world! Check here for a full listing.

Prize: Access to apply to over $50 million in available scholarships.

Get involved:

Intel ISEF

What: The world’s largest international pre-college science competition (basically, it’s the Superbowl of science fairs).

What else: The first step is to get involved in a regional affiliated Intel ISEF Science fair. These fairs exist in nearly every state in the United States as well as over 70 other countries, regions, and territories. Winners of regional, state, and national finals advance to the international finals.

Who: Students in grades 9-12.

When: ISEF 2024 takes place May 11-17. Competing for the 2024-2025 cycle starts at a Society-affiliated fair, which you can locate here.

Where: ISEF 2024 will be a fully in-person event in Los Angeles, CA, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, complemented by a virtual site where finalists can share their projects online.

Prize: Competitors receive more than 600 individual and team prizes, with first through fourth place awards totaling $3,000, $1,500, $1,000, and $500 in 21 categories. The top winner receives $75,000, while the second and third-place winners receive $50,000 each.

Get involved:
Also in the area: STEM camps held at UT Dallas

U Stockholm Junior Water Prize

What: A prestigious youth award for a water-related research project that seeks to address current and future water challenges.

What else: The competition consists of four levels: regional, state, national, and international. Awards are given at each level to recognize achievement in water-related research.

Who: Open to all high school students in grades 9–12 who have reached the age of 15 by August 1st of the competition year.

When: 2024 registration closed in April

Where: State entry is online. International SJWP Competition has previously taken place in Stockholm, Sweden.

Prize: Student will receive $15,000 and the student’s school will receive $5,000.

Get involved:   

Junior Science and Humanities Symposium

What: A STEM competition where students are asked to present findings of their original research effort to a panel of judges and an audience of their peers.

What else: The National Symposium is much more than a competition. It includes planned opportunities for hands-on workshops, panel discussions, career exploration, research lab visits, and networking.

Who: Students in grades 9–12.

When: Deadlines vary by region.

Where: Regional competitions occur across all 50 states. Click here to find your closest location!

Prize: The first-place regional prize is $2,000 in scholarships and the National grand prize is $12,000 in scholarships.

Get involved:

American Regions Mathematics League (ARML) Contest

What: A mathematics contest for high school students that consists of several events, including a team round, a power question round, an individual round, two relay rounds, and a super relay round. Teams generally consist of 15 students.

Who: Generally high school students, although some exceptional junior high students attend each year.

When: The 2023-2024 ARML Power Contest Windows are October 28 through November 12 and February 17 through March 3. Coaches can download competition materials the week before and schedule their contests anytime during the given timeframe. Once completed, students mail their solutions to the competition coordinator. Check the website for information on 2024-2025 competition announcements. Where: In 2023, the event was held at four universities across the United States: Penn State University, The University of Iowa, The University of Alabama at Huntsville, and The University of Nevada, Reno. Check the website for the 2024 locations.

Prize: Various prizes are awarded to the top teams.

Get involved:

World Robot Olympiad

What: Four categories of robotics competitions challenging students to sharpen their problem-solving skills and expand their creative skill sets.

What else: The WRO® theme for 2024 is Earth Allies. In 2024, teams will learn more about how human activity impacts nature and how nature/natural phenomena impact us in return. They will examine how robots can help us co-exist symbiotically with nature.

Who: Youth ages 8-19

When: Registration for the 2024 cycle begins January 15

Where: In 2024, over 20,000 teams from 90 countries will compete for spots on the National Team.

Prize: Prizes exist for the winners in each category/age group combination: Robo Mission, Robo Sports, Future Innovators, Future Engineers. 

Get involved:

STEM competitions for middle school students

Perennial Math Tournaments

What: A online, virtual, or in-person math tournament—you choose! Rules vary by each tournament, so check out their info pages below to learn more.

Who: Teams or individuals in grades 3–12.

When: Registration is open now! There are two seasons for the online tournaments (Nov–Feb, Jan–Apr). The in-person tournaments take place throughout the year. All winners of on-site tournaments will be invited to the National Championship, which is typically held in May.

Where: Online or at on-site locations

Prize: Your own championship trophy!

Get involved:

National Science Bee

What: The National Quiz Bowl, buzzer system and all.

What else: This is a great competition to get your feet wet in a big way! Whereas attendance at most national competitions requires success at a pre-qualifying regional event, anyone can register and participate in the National Science Bee!

Who: Students can compete in the following divisions: Varsity (grades 11-12), Junior Varsity (grades 9-10), 8th grade, 7th grade, 6th grade, 5th grade, 4th grade, 3rd grade and younger (there is no younger age limit). 

When: For elementary/middle school competitors – the free Online Regional Qualifying Exam (ORQE) will become available in fall 2024. Approximately 60% of students who take the exam will move on to the Regional Finals, held online and in-person from October 2024 to May 2025. The top 50% of competitors in each age group at Regions will qualify for the National Science Bee Championships.

Where:  For the 2023-2024 cycle, the National Championships for Elementary/Middle School groups will be held in Orlando, FL, over Memorial Day Weekend. National championships for the Varsity/JV divisions are held April 27-28, 2024, in Arlington, VA

Prize: Past awards have included $1,500 worth of total prizes.

Get involved:


What: A National mathematics competition where students face off in live, in-person contests against their peers.

What else: The competition takes place at three levels—regional, state, and national championships. The top students at each level advance to the next.

Who: Open to all students in grades 6-8. Students must be registered with their school by a coach representative (usually a teacher). Check with your local school to find out more!

When: Registration for the 2024-2025 school year will open in August and close in early January. Chapter competitions are hosted from February 1-29, 2024. State competitions take place March 1-31, 2024. The 2024 RTX MATHCOUNTS National Competition goes down May 12-13, 2024, in Washington, D.C.!

Where: There are over 500 regional competitions all over the country!

Prize: Vary each year—check the website for more details!

Get involved:


What: STEM Competition for teams proposing solutions to real community issues with their projects.

What else: Put on by the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP).

Who: Students in grades 6–9. Each team will consist of two to four students and an adult team advisor.

When: The 2023-2024 winners will be announced in late June 2024. The 2024-2025 student and team advisor registration window will likely run from mid-August 2025 to late February 2025.

Where: Online.

Prize: 1st place winners at the state level receive $500 US Series EE Savings Bonds per student. 1st place regional winners receive an additional $500 in Bonds and a paid trip to the finals. 1st place national winners receive an additional $3,000 in Bonds.

Get involved:

You Be the Chemist

What: A chemistry competition held by the Chemical Educational Foundation where individuals compete in a quiz bowl format at the local, state, and national levels. View the intro video here.

What else: National Championships take place in Washington D.C.

Who: Students in grades 5–8.

When: The 2023-2024 National Challenge will take place on June 10-11, 2024. 2025 details will likely be released in October 2024, when the challenge registration window typically opens. Expect registration to close by the end of December 2024.

Where: Over 40 states participate, and there will be in-person and virtual events this year. Click the link below to find the location closest to you. The 2023-2024 National Challenge will be held at the Westin Houston Memorial City in Houston, TX.

Prize: Check the website for more details.

Get involved:
Get started: Houston robotics camps

The 3M Young Scientist Challenge

What: A video competition in which students are asked to create a 1–2 minute video describing a unique solution to an everyday problem.

What else: Finalists are chosen to compete in the National Finals.

Who: Students in grades 5–8 in the United States.

When: Registration for the 2024 challenge opens on January 4, 2024, and closes on May 2, 2024. Finalists and state merit winners are announced in June, with the final event occurring in October 2024. Winners are announced shortly thereafter.

Where: Registration is available online, and the National Finals location will be published later in 2024.

Prize: The Grand Prize Winner will receive $25,000 and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.” Top 10 Finalists will receive $1,000 each and a unique summer mentorship with a 3M scientist. Up to 51 competitors will receive State Merit Winner recognition alongside 3M Young Scientist Challenge Prize Packs and Certificates. Additional recognition exists for honorable mention winners and the school with the most entries.

Get involved: 

Future City

What: “If you can dream it, you can build it.” The Future City is a team challenge where students research, design, and build cities that showcase a solution to a citywide sustainability issue. The topic changes each year and can include storm water management, public spaces, green energy, age-related issues and more.

What else: The challenge is made of five parts: a virtual city design (using SimCity), an essay, a scale model, a project plan, and a presentation to the judges.

Who: Teams of students in grades 6-8. All teams must have an educator or mentor as a coach.

When: Registration for 2023-2024 is now open! For the 2024-2025 cycle, registration opens May 2024 and Future City Teams may begin their projects in September. Regional competitions take place in January while the National Competition is hosted in February.

Where: The 2023-2024 finals will be held in Washington, D.C. 

Prize: Grand prize is a trip to space camp and $7,500 cash award.

Get involved:

Junior Solar Sprint

What: An engineering competition in which teams of students design, build, and race solar-powered cars. Students that are successful in local and regional competitions are invited to the national competition each June.

Who: Students in grades 5–8.

When: Registration for the 2024 JSS program is open from September 2023 to April 2024. State conference dates vary by region, with the National TSA Conference occurring June 26-30, 2024.

Where: The 2023-2024 National TSA Conference will be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, FL.

Prize: Check the website for more details.

Get involved:

STEM competitions for various ages

Some events’ details are still in the works due to COVID-19. Please check each organization’s website for the most up to date information.

NASA Student Launch Challenge

What: Work in teams to design, build, and launch a high-powered rocket!

Who: Middle/high school and college/university students are eligible to participate. NASA has already announced the 70 teams representing 24 states and Puerto Rico for the 2024 Student Launch Challenge.

When: This nine-month challenge begins with on-site events from April 10-14, 2024, with final launches occurring on April 13.

Where: The final launch takes place in Huntsville, AL.

Prize: Varies by contest—see p.48 for college/university awards and p. 94 for middle/high school awards.

Get involved: 

American Mathematics Competitions (AMC)

What: A series of mathematics tournaments and competitions for middle and high school students that’s over 60 years old! There are three levels of competition: the AMC-8 (middle school students), AMC-10 (grades 9 and 10), AMC-12 (grades 11 and 12).

What else: The AMC is one of the first steps for determining the United States team for the International Mathematical Olympiad.

Who: Students in grades 8–12.

When: The AMC 10/12 competitions were held in November 2024, while the AMC 8 competition was held in January 2024; 2025 details are TBD, with registration likely opening in August 2024.

Where: Competitions take place all over the country and virtually. See the full list here.

Prize: Check the website for more details.

Get involved:

Math League

What: A series of competitions designed for teams of elementary, middle, and high school students that all culminate in National Championships in spring.

What else: The details of the competition change based on the age of the students. Click the link below to read more about the details for your child!

Who: Elementary (grade 3) through high school students (grade 12).

When: Most regional- and state-level contests are held throughout the fall and winter; registration held on a rolling basis.

Where: Various locations throughout the entire United States.

Prize: Prizes vary based on location and competition levels.

Get involved:

Purple Comet Math Meet

What: An online, international mathematics competition designed for middle and high school students.

What else: There is a ten-day window during which teams may compete choosing a start time that's most convenient. Problems range in difficulty.

Who: Teams of middle and high school students with an adult supervisor.

When: The 2024 contest takes place April 2-11, 2024. 2025 dates are TBD.

Where: Online

Prize: Check the website for more details.

Get involved:

The Department of Energy (DOE) National Science Bowl

What: One of the nation’s largest academic competitions that tests students’ knowledge on a range of science and math disciplines. Teams face off in a fast-paced question-and-answer format.

What else: Teams must qualify at the regional level to participate in the National Science Bowl. Click here to find your closest regional competition.

Who: Middle and high school teams formed of 4 students, 1 alternative student, and 1 coach.

When: The 2024 National Finals take place April 25-29, 2024. 2024 2025 registration is TBD, though competition typically begins in January of each year. The 2025 National Finals run from April 24-28, 2025, and the 2026 National Finals run from April 30 to May 4, 2026.

Where: All 50 states participate!

Prize: Regional prizes vary. Top teams can win a variety of awards including monetary awards for their schools, a (massive!) trophy, an all-expenses-paid trip, and bragging rights. Check the website for more details!

Get involved:

National STEM League

What: A team-oriented STEM competition. Students can participate in the online competition or one of the three face-to-face competitions, depending on their interests.

Who: Middle to high school students.

When: Varies by event; the 2024 Ten80-NSBE Nationals will take place March 21-22, 2024, and the 2024 Ten80 STEM Challenge Nationals go down April 26-27, 2024.

Where: Regional competitions occur throughout the United States; Ten80 teams can compete in the Online Points Race (without leaving school), Ten80 Face-to-Face Competitions, and Micro and 1-Day Challenges. The 2024 Ten80-NSBE Nationals are held in Atlanta, GA, and the 2024 Ten80 STEM Challenge Nationals take place in Concord, NC – hosted by the Charlotte Motor Speedway!
Prize: Check the website for more details.

Get involved:

U.S.A Mathematical Talent Search (USAMTS)

What: A monthly online mathematics competition where students are given one math problem to solve. Because of the level of difficulty, students have the remainder of the month to work out solutions.

What else: Students' solutions are graded by mathematicians, and comments are returned to the students to develop their problem-solving skills and writing abilities.

Who: Middle and high school students in the United States.

When: Ongoing! As soon as you register, you're able to download the month’s problem.

Where: Online

Prize: Participants are eligible for various prizes, such as books and software throughout the year. Additionally, the top scorers are invited to take the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME), a process necessary for applying to the USA Mathematical Olympiad Team.

Get involved:

F1 In Schools

What: A competition that challenges teams of students to design, manufacture, and race the Formula 1 “car of the future."

What else: Competition takes place at regional, state, national, and world levels. Over 40 countries participate in the World Finals and the competition runs alongside the International F1 Grand Prix (cool!).

Who: Nine- to nineteen-year-old students in teams of 3–6.

When: Registration is live! Hopeful participants must obtain an enrollment code from F1 in Schools Ltd. before registering for a regional final in their country. In 2023, the World Finals took place from September 10-12–check the website for upcoming 2024 dates.

Where: All over the country! Click the link below to find a location closest to you. The 2023 World Finals were held in Singapore!

Prize: Access to recruiters from prestigious universities. Other prizes may vary; check the website for more details.

Get involved:


What: “More than just a student science competition” where participants engage in real-world problem solving, rooted in STEM.

What else: The challenge is to look 20 years into the future and communicate a new future technology. Cool!

Who: Teams of 2–4 students in grades K–12; the competition is open to students enrolled in a U.S. or Canadian public, private, or home school.

When: The 2023-2024 deadline for submissions was January 31, 2024. Regional winners will be announced April 1, with national winners announced May 6. Awards Weekend takes place June 14-15, 2024. Check the website for 2024-2025 dates.

Where: Online

Prize: 4 winning teams are awarded US EE Savings Bond worth $10,000 at maturity. Other prizes also offered for second place, finalists, and honorable mentions.

Get involved:

Fluor Challenge

What: A hands-on engineering contest that challenges students to complete a fun task (such as launch an aluminum foil ball as far as possible) using limited resources (such as pencils, paper, paper clips, plastic cups and rubber bands).

Who: K–12 students; individuals or teams up to 4 students.

When: Complete the online entry form from February 18 to March 18, 2024.

Where: Online.

Prize: Ten teams are drawn at random for $1,000 prizes for their schools!

Get involved:

The VEX Robotics Competitions

What: A collection of various robotics competitions held by The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation. Each team of students is tasked with designing and building a robot to play against other teams head-to-head in a game-based engineering challenge.

What else: The world championship is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s largest robotics competition (awesome!).

Who: The Vex Robotics Competition: Full Volume is open to participants in grades 4-8; the Vex Robotics Competition: Over Under is open to those in grades 6-12.

When: Tournaments are held year-round at the regional, state, and national levels. Winners are invited to the VEX Robotics World Championship each April/May.

Where: All across the globe! Check your local listings for locations/dates here.

Prize: Check the website for more details.

Get involved:

BEST Robotics Competition

What: A robotics competition where teams compete head-to-head. Each year a new challenge is chosen based on real-world issues.

What else: “BEST” stands for “Boosting Engineering, Science & Technology.”

Who: Middle and high school students.

When: March 3 to April 14, 2024 

Where: Currently, 19 states participate. Locations vary—click here to see the upcoming list of events.

Prize: BEST distributes many awards for each competition, ranging from the coveted BEST award, creativity awards, and software design. Prizes vary based on regional, state, or national level. Check the website for more details!

Get involved:

Wonder League Robotics

What: A robotics/programming challenge where teams participate in three competition rounds over a period of five months under the guidance of a coach.

What else: Teams that are successful in the preliminary competition rounds are invited to the open invitational to compete face-to-face with other teams.

Who: Kids ages 6-8 can participate in the Innovator Cup, while youth ages 9-12 can compete in the Pioneer Cup. Teams must also include at least one supervising adult coach and can consist of up to five student participants.

When: A year-round competition. Registration for 2023-2024 opened in October 2023, with competitions taking place from November to March; the 2023-2024 winner will be announced on May 9, 2024.

Where: Registration is online and preliminary competition rounds take place remotely, which means children with all types of schedules can participate!

Prize: Grand Prize has been $5,000 STEM grant, national recognition, and each team member receives their own Dash Robot.

Get involved: 

FIRST Tech Challenge

What: A robotics competition where teams of students are responsible for designing, building, and programming robots in a 10-week period, and competing in a head-to-head alliance format against other teams. Winners of the regional/state tournaments are invited to take part in the FIRST National Championship!

Who: Students in grades 7–12.

When: Each season is year-round. Registration for 2023-2024 is open; the competition season begins in September, regional/state tournaments from October–April, and the FIRST Championship in April.

Where: Regional and state competitions occur all over the US!

Prize: Access to apply to over $80 million in available scholarships.

Get involved:

Team America Rocketry Challenge

What: The world’s largest student rocket contest. The contest challenges students to design, build, and fly a rocket carrying a raw egg to a specific altitude and back. The top 100 teams are invited to Washington, D.C. for the National Finals.

What else: Approximately 5,000 students from across the nation compete each year. The contest rules and scoring parameters change every cycle to challenge the students.

Who: Teams of 3–10 students in grades 6–12.

When: 2024 American Rocketry Challenge registration generally closes once the first 1,000 teams submit their applications with payment, between June 1 to December 1. Teams must fly their rocket in front of an observer from the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) anytime by April 8, 2024. Those scoring from the 100 best submissions are invited to compete for the national fly-off on May 18, 2024.

Where: The 2023-2024 national fly-off takes place at Great Meadow in The Plains, VA, approximately 50 miles west of Washington, D.C.

Prize: Winning teams split over $100,000 in cash and scholarships. 1st place winners earn $20,000 for their team and $1,000 for their school.

Get involved:
Also in the area: STEM camps held at Marymount University

Future Engineers Challenges

What: A collection of innovation challenges for K–12 students. Previous challenges have included designing a 3D-printed tool for astronauts to use in space and a high-altitude balloon and rocket-powered lander!
What else: Held in conjunction with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Foundation and NASA.

Who: Students in Grades K–12.

When: Varies by challenge – the Future Engineers website shows current challenges, challenges where judging is in progress, and winner announcements for completed challenges.

Where: OnlinePrize: Varies by challenge. In the “Power to Explore” challenge – where students are tasked with plotting a radioisotope power systems (RPS) space mission – 

prizes in the form of virtual sessions with NASA RPS experts are awarded to 45 semifinalists (15 in each grade category of K-4, 5-8 and 9-12). Nine national finalists (three in each grade category) win a trip for two to visit NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH.

Get involved:

Science Olympiad

What: One of the nation’s premier science competitions.

What else: Founded in 1984, to increase K12 and teacher participation in STEM.

Who: Differs by state; go here to get started.

When: Same as above; check your local state’s website for event info! The 40th Annual Science Olympiad National Tournament will take place in May 2024.

Where: The 2024 Science Olympiad National Tournament is held at Michigan State University.

Prize: Awards, trophies, cash scholarships, tuition awards, and prizes are offered by the host Universities and sponsors. Check the website for more details.

Get involved:

Destination Imagination STEM Team Challenges

What: A set of seven challenges, each focusing on one specific area of STEM (i.e., Scientific Challenge, Technical Challenge, etc.) and including a project that teams work on for 2–4 months.

What else: Teams of 2-7 members select only one challenge to participate in and showcase their projects at local tournaments. When a team qualifies at the state level, they are invited to compete at the Global Finals.

Who: Anybody in Kindergarten through University can participate! Students are grouped and compete according to their grade level.

When: Varies by region. Typically, teams form and start collaborating between August and January of a challenge cycle. This time is spent creating their challenge solutions and practicing for local tournaments, which take place between February and April. Teams that qualify for Global Finals can compete from May 22-25 at the end of the cycle.

Where: Located in 45 states and 30 countries! The 2024 Global Finals will be held in Kansas City, MO.

Prize: Check the website for more details.

Get involved:

Solar Decathlon

What: An international collegiate competition made up of 10 contests that challenge student teams to design, build, and operate full-size, solar-powered houses. Simply put, there is nothing else like it. Teams spend up to two years planning and designing their houses with the final competition taking place over a few days.

What else: The competition has expanded internationally with contests taking place in Europe (2019), China (2018), Latin America (2019), Africa (2019), and the Middle East (2020).

Who: Collegiate teams.

When: As of late February 2024, 40 collegiate teams have advanced to the Solar Decathlon 2024 Design Challenge. Finalist teams were chosen at the virtual semifinals event from February 23-24. These teams will compete at the hybrid Solar Decathlon finals from April 19-21, 2024.

Where: Some portions of the competition are completely virtual, while others are hybrid or in-person. The final competition is a hybrid event taking place at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO.

Prize: 2017 was the first year of cash prizes. All participants received at least $100,000 for successfully completing the competition. Each team received additional cash awards based on their finished rankings, with the top team receiving $300,000 total.

Get involved:

Collegiate Wind Competition

What: A competition that challenges collegiate teams to use their skills and knowledge to finish a complex wind energy project over the course of a school year. The challenge includes three elements that provide each student with real-world experience.

Who: Interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate students.

When: Registration is currently closed for 2024. In the beginning of each year, competition organizers use a performance-based assessment to identify 12 finalist teams, who are invited to move forward in the CWC from January to May 2024. The Final Event occurs May 6-9, 2024. Competition selection for the next cycle will take place from June to December of 2024. 

Where: The 2024 Final Event will be held in Minneapolis, MN at the Minnesota Convention Center.

Prize: Cash prizes are eligible for those teams that advance to each of the three competition phases. The winning teams of the Grand Prize Awards will earn a portion of or up to $30,000 from the cash prize pool.

Get involved:
Also in the area: STEM camps held at University of Denver


What: Introduce STEM to kids through compelling, stimulating, hands-on experiences. 

What else: Participants will be tasked with designing original ways to communicate and design art worldwide.

Who: Children ages 4-16 (three age divisions available for ages 4-6, 6-10, and 9-16)

When: The MASTERPIECE challenge debuted August 1, 2023.

Where: Online—nearly 680,000 participants from 110 countries have participated in this online challenge!

Prize: Check the website for information.

Get involved: 

2024 International SeaPerch Challenge

What: If “aquatic robots” pique your interest, continue reading! SeaPerch is a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and a competition. Students are tasked with constructing an underwater robot! For 2024, the theme is “deep-sea exploration.”

What else: SeaPerch will introduce students to basic engineering, design, and science skills. Required and optional elements include a technical design report, pool courses, real-world innovation poster, and community outreach.

Who: The program is a good fit for students in grades 5-12 (ages 10-18); students can start programs at their school with the help of a sponsor/teacher.

When: Challenge season kicks off in September, with regional competition applications due in October. Invitations and wild card applications are issued in November, with all teams registering by April of the following year. Tune in to the Finals from May 31 to June 1, 2024.

Where: The 2024 International SeaPerch Challenge Finals take place at the University of Maryland campus in College Park, MD.

Prize: Check the website for information on prizes.

Get involved: 
Also in the area: STEM camps held at University of Maryland

Odyssey of the Mind

What: Teams of classmates compete under pressure to devise a solution to various problems, which require 8-minute performances.

What else: If writing scripts, acting, building, and designing all appeal to you, read more about this exciting opportunity!

Who: Become a member by purchasing your school or community group membership. You will receive a membership number and access to each year’s full problem details and program materials. Teams consist of up to seven students and one adult coach.

When: The 2024 World Finals will be held May 21-24, 2024.

Where: Ames, IA will host the 2024 World Finals at Iowa State University.

Prize: Awards are granted through trophies, plaques, ribbons, medals, and special certificates to teams who earn first, second, and third place at World Finals.

Get involved:
Also in the area: STEM camps held at University of Michigan

NCF Envirothon

What: Students compete to show off their knowledge in natural resource management after engaging in hands-on outdoor field experiences throughout the year.

What else: Over 25,000 students across the U.S., Canada, and China spend months preparing for this global challenge.

Who: The annual competition is open to high school students in grades 9-12 (ages 14-19). Each team will have five students from the same school or organization; one adult team advisor is required.

When: The finals for 2024 run from July 28 to August 3, 2024.

Where: Each year, a new city hosts the Envirothon; in 2024, NCF Envirothon will be held at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY.

Prize: Check the website for details.

Get involved: 

ArcGIS Online Competition for US High School & Middle School Students

What: Design and carry out a research project pertaining to something in your home state, then create an ArcGIS StoryMap about your project and submit it to the competiton.

What else: Teachers choose the school’s five best submissions and submit them to entry for state. States pick their best five submissions and select one from middle school and high school to attend the national competition.

Who: The competition is open to high school (grades 9-12) and middle school (grades 4-8) students in the United States who are able to collect, create, examine, interpret, and showcase data using an ArcGIS StoryMap.

When: The 2024 competition began in Fall 2023, where state team leaders apply to include the state as one that is participating. Teacher and student teams plan until December 1, the last day to apply to participate. May 13, 2024, is the deadline for states to submit their entries to Esri, and results are announced on May 28. The Competition Results Webinar will be held on June 20, 2024.

Where: Online

Prize: Participating states can award $1000 prizes to up to five high school and five middle school projects. National prizes are announced yearly.

Get involved:

Genes in Space

What: You have one job—create a DNA experiment that responds to the challenges of space travel and deep space exploration. 

What else: Start by stating a hypothesis and choosing how to make use of the elements in the Genes in Space toolkit.

Who: U.S. enrolled in grades 7-12 can work independently or in teams of up to two students.

When: The 2024 contest opened January 10, 2024, with teams developing their ideas until a submission deadline of April 15, 2024.Awardees and semifinalists are announced May 1, with finalists chosen May 20, 2024. Mentoring takes place in June and July, and winners are announced immediately after finals, which are held from July 29 to August 1, 2024. Space Biology Camp takes place in fall of 2024 and the winner’s DNA experiment gets launched in space in 2025!

Where: The ISS Research & Development Conference in Boston, MA, will serve as the host of the 2024 Genes in Space finals.

Prize: Those who earn the designation of Finalist, Honorable Mention, Junior Scientist Awardee, or Constellation Awardee will receive a P51 Florenscence Biotechnology kit for their schools (a value of $800).

Get involved: 
Also in the area: STEM camps held at UW Seattle

The Conrad Challenge

What: Here’s your chance to get together with peers and create an invention that solves a critical global problem!

What else: The competition takes place in four stages: Activation, Lean Canvas, Innovation, and Power Pitch. In Activation, students form a team of two to five students and one adult coach. Lean Canvas is devoted to brainstorming, while Innovation involves bringing ideas to life through recordings, websites, and written briefs. Finalists are invited to participate in the last round of the competition! 

Who: Students ages 13-18 are eligible to compete.

When: The 2024 Summit takes place from April 23-27, 2024.

Where: The finals take place at the Innovation Summit at Space Center Houston, TX.

Prize: The highest-scoring team in each category is named a Pete Conrad Scholar; prizes include scholarships, pro-bono legal and consulting services, and a Dell Chromebook!

Get involved: 
Also in the area: STEM camps held at Rice University

That's all... for now! Please let us know about any other STEM competitions you feel are worthy of inclusion!

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Sign up for our emails to learn more about why iD Tech is #1 in STEM education! Be the first to hear about new courses, locations, programs, and partnerships–plus receive exclusive promotions! AI summer camps, coding classes for kids, and more!

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Meet iD Tech!

Sign up for our emails to learn more about why iD Tech is #1 in STEM education! Be the first to hear about new courses, locations, programs, and partnerships–plus receive exclusive promotions! AI summer camps, coding classes for kids, and more!

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Subscribe & Save!

Meet iD Tech!

Sign up for our emails to learn more about why iD Tech is #1 in STEM education! Be the first to hear about new courses, locations, programs, and partnerships–plus receive exclusive promotions! AI summer camps, coding classes for kids, and more!

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