The Ultimate Guide to STEM Competitions & Events for 2023

iD Tech in action

The heat of competition is a funny thing. It brings out sides of our personalities we never knew we had lurking. And frankly, it’s invigorating right? Personally, I love it. (My family on game night, not so much.)

More than that, competition just has a way of making us better. And no matter your interest or hobby, there are usually a number of ways to compete.

STEM is no different, offering local, statewide, and even national events for beginner to advanced students across a number of related disciplines.

2023 Update: This list includes some events in 2024 and others who have yet to announce their 2023 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.

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: 2023 registration is live! Eligible pre-registered students can start coding for the 2023 competition, which runs from June 15 to November 1, 2023.

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 8, 2023! The Top 40 finalists are announced in January 2024 and Regeneron STS Finals Week is March 6-13, 2024. 

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: 2023 registration is closed: 2024 details are TBD and will likely open in November 2023

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:

Source America Design Challenge

2023 Note: The website currently states "Sorry...This form is closed to new submissions" and 2023 information can't be currently located. 

What: A challenge with a purpose! Student teams are put to the test to use STEM concepts to create a product that empowers people with disabilities. The teams work directly with an individual who is experiencing difficulties, and inventions are evaluated based on their impact level.

Who: High school and collegiate-level students.

When: Registration for Design Challenge 2022 is live!

Where: The finals take place in Washington, D.C. The 3-day event includes training sessions and congressional visits on Capitol Hill.

Prize: Grand prize is $8,000 per team and $6,000 to the affiliated school.

Get involved:

M3 Challenge

2023 Note: The 2023 M3 Challenge is closed. 

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: 2024 info is TBD, and “Challenge Weekend” will likely occur in March 2024.

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 2023 World Championship takes place May 23; expect 2024 registration to go live in October 2023.

Where: Online 

Prize: Grand prize is $100,000.

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 2023 takes place May 14-19. Competing for the 2023-2024 cycle starts at a Society-affiliated fair, which you can locate here.

Where: ISEF 2023 will be a fully in-person event in Dallas, TX, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison 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:

Spellman Clean Tech Competition

2023 Note: Could not find any updated info for 2023; the Spellman HV Clean Tech Competition Facebook page has not been updated since August 2022.

What: Worldwide research and design challenge! The competition encourages students to develop a scientific understanding of real-world issues.

What else: Past challenge topics include “Solving Climate Change,” “Feed the World,” “A Solution to Pollution,” and “Clean Water for All.”

Who: Students 15–18 years old.

When: 2023 details are TBD!

Where: The final event takes place at Stony Brook University in New York with a virtual option.

Prize: Grand prize is $10,000 and the opportunity to develop a continued relationship with a mentor. All 10 finalists receive monetary awards; check the website for more details.

Get involved:

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: 2023 registration closed in April; 2024 details TBD.

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: 

Google Change the Game

2023 Note: Last updated information was announcing 2021 winners.

What: A competition that challenges entrants to use their creativity to imagine a new video game and write an essay that represents what they want to see change about the video game industry.

Who: US residents between the ages of 13–18.

When: 2023 registration has yet to be announced. 

Where: Online.

Prize: Past grand prizes have included a VIP Trip to L.A. to attend the E3 conference, a scholarship to Girls Make Games Summer Camp, a $10,000 college scholarship, an Android tablet, and a $15,000 technology contribution to their school.

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 ARML 2023 competition will be from June 2-3, 2023. 2024 details are TBD.

Where: In 2023, the event will be 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.

Prize: Various prizes are awarded to the top teams.

Get involved:

LEGO Rebrick Contests

What: A collection of official LEGO contests. Anyone can participate by submitting digital photos and videos of their own custom LEGO creations online.

What else: Rules of each contest and requirements may vary. Each contest has its own theme, such as creating your own go-kart, creating a dream skyline, or creating stop-motion endings to LEGO YouTube videos!

Who: LEGO enthusiasts over the age of 13.

When: Various due dates.

Where: Online.

Prize: Various prizes ranging from rare signed LEGO sets, display and use of your LEGO creation, or even an all-expenses-paid trip! See website for more details.

Get involved:

STEM competitions for middle school students

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.

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 3–8.

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:

Chowdhury STEM Innovation Contest

2023 Note: Details for 2022-2023 contest have not been published.

What: A STEM competition that invites kids to tackle real-world problems. In teams, participants will by conduct research and present an innovative solution to issues facing our world . 

Who: Grades 4-8.

When: 2023 competition details are TBD.

Where: Online

Prize: $20,000 to the top team, plus more prizes!

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 eighth grade and younger.

When: When: The 2022-2023 Regional Finals took place April 2023; 2024 details TBD, and middle school competitors can anticipate taking the free Online Regional Qualifying Exam at their school around late September 2023.

Where: TBD

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 2023-2024 school year will open in the fall.

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 winners will be announced in late June 2023. Student and team advisor registration will likely open in August 2023.

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.

Who: Students in grades 5–8.
When: The 2023 National Challenge will take place on June 13, 2023. 2024 details will likely be released in October 2023.

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 National Challenge will be held at the Westin Houston Memorial City in Houston, TX.

Prize: Check the website for more details.

Get involved:

America's Top Young Scientist

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: 2023 winners will be revealed in October 2023. 2024 registration will likely open in December 2023.

Where: Registration is available online, and the National Finals location will be published later in 2023.

Prize: For 2023, the best students will awarded a trip to the final competition to compete for a $25,000 grand prize!

Get involved

Project CS Girls

2023 Note: No updated information. 

What: A STEM challenge aimed at increasing the education of middle school girls and closing the gender gap in STEM.

What else: The challenge: “Build something using computer science and technology that can help solve an imminent social problem under one of four themes—global health, a safer world, intelligent technology, and bridging inequalities."

Who: Girls currently enrolled in middle school (grades 6–8). You can participate as an individual or as a team of 2–3.

When: 2023 competition details are TBD!

Where: The National Gala is held in Washington, D.C.

Prize: Three grand prize winners receive national recognition, an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Gala, certificates and engraved plaques, electronics, gadgets, and other various prizes.

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! Deadlines vary by region.

Where: 2022-2023 finals were held in Washington, D.C. 2023-2024 details TBD.

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 2023 JSS program is currently open. Dates vary by region; check the website for updated information. 

Where: Details for regional locations to be announced.

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 Competitions

2023 Note: Updated info hasn't been posted since 2001. 

What: A collection of official NASA contests for the “next generation of explorers.” Topics range from creating a space app, illustrating a topic, or even bioengineering!

Who: Varies by contest.

When: Deadlines vary, please check the link below for the current contests.

Where: Varies by contest.

Prize: Varies by contest—prizes range from a trophy to $500,000.

Get involved:,in%20the%20Moon's%20South%20Pole.

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 8 competition was held in January 2023; 2024 details are TBD, with registration likely opening in early September 2023.

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 2023 contest has concluded. 2024 details 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: 2023 National Finals took place April 27-May 1. 2024 registration is TBD, though competition typically begins in January of each year. The 2024 National Finals run April 25-29, 2024, and the 2025 National Finals run April 24-28, 2025.

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; 2023 competitions were held from February 11-May 17. 2024 details TBD.

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.

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.

Where: All over the country! Click the link below to find a location closest to you. The 2023 World Finals are 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: Registration for 2022-2023 is closed. 2024 details are TBD, though there will be a period of rolling admission.

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: 2023 winners have been announced. 2024 details TBD.

Where: The 2022 competition has concluded, but all of their past challenges are still available to try for fun!

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: Elementary to collegiate-level students. Minimum age is 8 years old.

When: Tournaments are held year-round at the regional, state, and national levels. Winners are invited to the VEX Robotics World Championship each April, though the event may be virtual this year.

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: Registration dates vary by competition -- check the event website for the most up-to-date information. 2024 registration will likely begin in September 2023.

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 will likely open in October 2023, with competitions taking place from November to March; the 2023 finals are held in May.

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 7–12.

When: 2023 National Finals have been announced, and the event will take place on May 20, with registration for 2024 opening around that time.

Where: The 2023 National Finals will be held at Great Meadow in The Plains, VA. 2024 details TBD.

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:

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!

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.

Where: Online!

Prize: Varies by challenge.

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!

Where: The 2023 Science Olympiad National Tournament is held at Wichita 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 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; the 2023 Global Finals occur May 20-23. 2023-2024 Team Numbers can be purchased starting Monday, July 17, 2023, and all 2023-2024 Challenges are made available on Tuesday, August 15, 2023.

Where: Located in 45 states and 30 countries! The 2023 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: 2023 winners were announced in late April 2023. Details for 2024 are coming soon!

Where: Online

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 now open for 2024. Interested teams can apply from May 1-June 15, 2023. Competitor selection takes place from June 16 to December 2023, with teams completing their deliverables and hoping to be named one of the 12 finalist teams. Grand Prize awards are distributed from January to May 2024.

Where: The 2023 Final Event will be held in Boulder, CO.

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:


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 debuts 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: 

Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology

What: Since 1999, high school students have undertaken research projects designed to help them more deeply understand the importance of scientific investigation. Competitors submit and present their projects within a given field.

What else: Projects are evaluated on the following criteria: scientific importance, creativity, field knowledge, comprehensiveness, interpretation, literature review, future work, clarity of expression, and presentation.

Who: High school students in the United States.

When: 2024 details TBD.

Where: Online

Prize: Check the website for an updated list of awards.

Get involved:

2023 International SeaPerch Challenge

What: If “aquatic robots” piques your interest, continue reading! SeaPerch is a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and a competition. Students are tasked with constructing an underwater robot!

What else: SeaPerch will introduce students to basic engineering, design, and science skills. 

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: 2023 Finals took place on May 13, 2023. Regional competitions vary by date.

Where: 2023 Finals occurred at the University of Maryland campus.

Prize: Check the website for information on prizes.

Get involved: 

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: 2023 World Finals will be held May 24-27, 2023.

Where: East Lansing, MI, will host the 2023 World Finals.

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:

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 2023 run from July 23-29. 

Where: Each year, a new city hosts the Envirothon; in 2023, NCF Envirothon will be held at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada.

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. 

When: 2023 competition winners will be announced on May 30, 2023. 2024 details are TBD, but you can expect teams to be eligible for registration in Fall 2023.

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 2023 finals take place July 31-August 3, 2023. 2024 registration and design time runs from January to April 2024.

Where: The ISS Research & Development Conference in Seattle, WA, will serve as the host of the 2023 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: 

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 2023 Summit took place in April 2023; 2024 details TBD.

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: 

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

A photo of Ryan

Ryan has been in EdTech and with iD Tech for 13 years—building experience, expertise, and knowledge in all things coding, game development, college prep, STEM, and more. He earned his MBA from Santa Clara University after obtaining his Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State. Connect on LinkedIn

Featured Posts



About iD Tech

iD Tech is the #1 tech camp on the planet, and world leader in youth STEM education, with programs held online and at 75+ global locations offering 50+ innovative tech courses: 

Coding camps
Video game camps
Robotics classes & camps
Creative arts classes & camps
All STEM camps

We've bet our reputation on recruiting the top instructors in the country. Our small classes ensure customized learning, leading to "a-ha moments" and awesome outcomes. Programs include:

On-Campus Programs

Online Tutoring

All Coding Courses