STEM Competitions for K-12 Students Show us your STEM smarts to win cool technology

Out of this World Student Challenge

STEM Competitions for K-12 Students

Deadline: on or before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, February 29th

CALLING ALL STUDENTS!!

Reach for the stars and explore the universe with us! The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) wants you to blast off into another student competition! For this competition, you will record a 3-5 minute video short story about where you would go in space to escape an alien invasion on Earth and how you would survive in your new environment. TWELVE prizes will be awarded with THREE winners per grade band— three for K-2nd, three for 3rd-5th, three for 6th-8th, and three for 9th-12th.

Prizes

K-2nd grade:

  • Telescope, 50 Things to See with a Telescope Book, Galaxy Projector, Astronaut Squishmallow

3rd-5th grade:

  • Telescope, 50 Things to See with a Telescope Book, Galaxy Projector, Solar System Kinects Building Kit

6th-8th grade:

  • Telescope, Moon Lamp, Beats Studio Earbuds, National Geographic: Backyard Guide to the Night Sky

9th-12th grade:

  • Telescope, Moon Lamp, Beats Studio Earbuds, National Geographic: Backyard Guide to the Night Sky

Details:

  • Aliens have invaded and we must evacuate Earth! In a video between 3-5 minutes, explain where you would go in the universe to escape Earth. Explain what you encounter on your journey and how you would tackle the challenges that surviving in space/on another planet would pose. Make sure that everything you encounter has scientific backing.
  • You will need to cite the sources you used to explain your journey through space. Citations can be included at the end of a video or written out in a separate document and submitted. Links to specific website may be used for K-5th grade, but 6th-12th grade should use MLA, APA, or another preferred citation style.
  • The video can be a recording of you speaking directly to the camera, a voiced-over PowerPoint, or another creative video format. Images are encouraged to be included in your video, whether they be digitally included, or you physically hold up a picture.
  • If your submission is a link (example WeVideo, Vimeo, Youtube or Google), please make sure the privacy and sharing settings allow reviewers to access it. If it is not accessible, it may not be scored.
  • Do not include your last name on your presentation- just first name and state. You can put your personal information on the submission form, but for your privacy when we upload, we will need your presentation without personal identification.
  • Projects must be submitted on the following form: https://orausurvey.orau.org/n/OutOfThisWorld.aspx
  • Projects will be graded based on a rubric.
  • Winners will be announced late March.
  • You must be a student in a U.S., U.S. territory, or DoDEA School.
  • Students in any schooling situation, including public, private, and homeschool are eligible to enter the competition.
  • Students are eligible to win 2 ORISE competitions in a 12-month period.

How to Enter:

  • To enter the contest, complete the form at https://orausurvey.orau.org/n/OutOfThisWorld.aspx and attach your file. Make sure you include your parent or guardian’s contact information so we can get their permission to post your file on our website. The contest opens on Thursday, February 1, 2024. The deadline to submit is 11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 29, 2024.

If you have any questions, please contact: STEMEd@orau.org

If you have any questions, please contact: STEMEd@orau.org.

Bring Data to Life - Student Challenge

Competition Opens: Friday, March 1st

Deadline: on or before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, Sunday, March 31st

CALLING ALL STUDENTS!!

Do you have what it takes to transform data into a visual masterpiece? The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) wants you to try it out! Your task is to go out into the world and collect your own data based on a question you have, and then use the patterns or trends you observe to create a unique visualization of the data! EIGHT prizes will be awarded with two winners per grade band— two for K-2nd, two for 3rd-5th, two for 6th-8th, and two for 9th-12th.

Need some help starting your data visualization?

Here are some topics you could look at:

  • Survey results on a topic of interest (e.g. favorite foods, hobbies, or books)
  • Historical events or timelines
  • Sports statistics (e.g. wins/losses, player performance, or team rankings)
  • Environmental data (e.g. weather patterns, pollution levels, or animal populations)
  • Scientific data (e.g. experiments, observations, or measurements)
  • School data (e.g. attendance rates, test scores, or disciplinary actions)
  • Social media trends (e.g. hashtag usage or follower counts)
  • Text data from books, poems, or speeches to create a word cloud or thematic analysis
  • Heart rate data to create a visualization of physical activity or emotional state.
  • Emotional data from surveys or social media to create a visualization of moods or sentiments
  • GPS data to create a map of a student's daily commute or travel patterns
  • Sound data from music or environmental noise to create a visualization of soundscapes or acoustic environments
  • Social justice data such as voting patterns, racial demographics, or access to healthcare

Here are some ways that you could represent data:

  • Bar graphs or line graphs to compare data
  • Pie charts to show percentages or ratios
  • Infographics to display information about a topic
  • Maps to show data geographically
  • Venn diagrams or flowcharts to show relationships between data sets
  • Word clouds to highlight key terms or themes in a text or survey results
  • Stop-motion animation to show changes in data over time
  • 3D models to represent data in a tangible way
  • Timeline or history wall to show data chronologically
  • Augmented reality or virtual reality experiences to explore data sets
  • Music videos or songs to convey data through creative expression
  • Live-action skits or plays to present data in a fun and engaging way

K-2nd Grade Worksheet Example:

STEM Competitions for K-12 Students

Prizes

K-5th grade:

  • Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet
  • Amazon Fire HD 10 Case
  • Modeling Clay
  • Sketch Pencils
  • Markers
  • Sketchbook

6th-12th grade:

  • Amazon Fire Max 11 Tablet (bundle with Keyboard Case and Stylus)
  • Modeling Clay
  • Sketch Pencils
  • Markers
  • Sketchbook

K – 2nd Details:

  • Using the attached worksheet (.PDF), the project should include the following:
    • Record of the data they found/collected.
    • Visualization/picture they created by using their data.
    • Explanation of their visualization.
  • Do not include your last name on your presentation- just first name and state. You can put your personal information on the submission form, but in case we use your submission on media, we will need your presentation without personal identification for your privacy.
  • Projects must be submitted on the following form: https://orausurvey.orau.org/n/BringDataToLife.aspx
  • Projects will be graded based on a rubric (.PDF).
  • Winners will be announced late February.
  • You must be a student in a U.S., U.S. territory, or DoDEA School.
  • Students in any schooling situation, including public, private, and homeschool are eligible to enter the competition.
  • Students are eligible to win 2 ORISE competitions in a 12-month period.

3rd – 12th Details:

  • For this project, you must individually collect data – not use anything from existing sources. You can use surveys, interviews, observations, measurements, or any other method to collect data. You will need to analyze and interpret your data to identify any patterns, trends, or insights. Using the data insights, you will need to create a data visualization that showcases the information in a clear and visually appealing way. The data visualization can take any form, including but not limited to a chart, graph, map, or infographic. You should also write a brief description that explains why your research question interested you initially, how you collected data, the insights you made, and why you chose to do the type of visualization you did.
  • Final submission should include the following:
    • Your data research question
    • Raw and uniquely collected data
    • Student data visualization
    • Brief written description about your project
  • If your submission is a link (example WeVideo, Vimeo, or Google), please make sure the privacy and sharing settings allow reviewers to access it. If it is not accessible, it may not be scored.
  • Do not include your last name on your presentation- just first name and state. You can put your personal information on the submission form, but for your privacy when we upload, we will need your presentation without personal identification.
  • Projects must be submitted on the following form: https://orausurvey.orau.org/n/BringDataToLife.aspx
  • Projects will be graded based on a rubric (.PDF).
  • Winners will be announced late April.
  • You must be a student in a U.S., U.S. territory, or DoDEA School.
  • Students in any schooling situation, including public, private, and homeschool are eligible to enter the competition.
  • Students are eligible to win 2 ORISE competitions in a 12 month period.

How to Enter:

 and attach your file. Make sure you include your parent or guardian’s contact information so we can get their permission to post your file on our website. The contest opens on Friday, March 1, 2024. The deadline to submit is 8:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 31, 2024.

If you have any questions, please contact: STEMEd@orau.org

Past competitions and winners

Unleash your imagination and explore the wonders of STEM through the magic of reading! The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) wants you to explore how some of your favorite STEM subjects can connect to the books you read! We are asking that you bring a scene from a book to life and explain the science, technology, engineering, or mathematics behind it! TWELVE prizes will be awarded with THREE winners per grade band—three for K-2nd, three for 3rd-5th, three for 6th-8th, and three for 9th-12th.

Winners announced soon!

Prizes

K-2nd grade:

  • Amazon Fire 8 Kids Tablet, Be a Maker book, Kids Bluetooth Headset, and Oversized Kids Blanket Hoodie

3-5th grade:

  • Amazon Fire 8 Kids Tablet, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind book, Kids Bluetooth Headset, and Oversized Kids Blanket Hoodie

6th-12th grade:

  • Kindle Paperwhite (8GB), Beats Studio Pro, Library Scented Candle, and Oversized Blanket Hoodie

Have you ever wondered about the mechanics behind a STEM phenomenon? For instance - how does the shape of paper affect its flight through the air? Or how can people pull a tablecloth off a set table without breaking anything? Now is your chance to dive into your curiosity because ORISE wants you to get creative and find the facts! We are asking that you create a video that showcases your journey as a “Fact Finder” in the world of STEM. In the video, you will identify something in a STEM field that you would like to understand, then show us what you learned! TWELVE prizes will be awarded with three winners per grade band—three for K-2nd, three for 3rd-5th, three for 6th-8th, and three for 9th-12th.

Prizes

K-5th Grade:

  • iPad (10th Generation) and accessories
  • Sphero Mini Activity Kit

6th-12th Grade:

  • iPad Mini and accessories
  • Apple Pencil
  • Sphero Bolt

Winners:

  • K-2nd
    • Helen K., Towne Acres Elementary School, TN
    • Olivia H., Towne Acres Elementary School, TN
    • Kolbie R., St. Claire Elementary School, TN
  • 3rd-5th
    • Evangeline P., TreeHouse Home School, TN
    • Emily A., Westview Elementary, TN
    • Vincent J., Towne Acres Elementary School, TN
  • 6th-8th
    • Milo R., Rivers Edge Christian Academy, TN
    • Gabbi J., Bulls Gap, TN
    • Tyler W., Bulls Gap, TN
  • 9th-12th
    • Jacquelyn P., Westminster High School, CA
    • Danial K., Farragut High School, TN
    • Anh N., Centennial High School, IL

 

From national anthems to your favorite pop beat, we can likely agree that music connects people; but have you ever used music to connect to a STEM concept? ORISE wants to see how you combine STEM and music! We ask that you create a music video of a song with self-written lyrics that addresses at least one concept in STEM! TWELVE prizes will be awarded with three winners per grade band—three for K-2nd, three for 3rd-5th, three for 6th-8th, and three for 9th-12th.

Prizes

K-5th grade:

  • iRobot Root Coding Robot
  • E-Blox Building Blocks STEM Circuit Kit

6th-12th grade:

  • Finch Robot 2.0 and pens
  • Raycon Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds

Winners:

K-5th Grade

  • Alexander M., APT Homeschool, TN
  • Alice K., Towne Acres Elementary School, TN
  • Ellie W., Hamilton County Virtual School, TN
  • Tinsley L., Harrison Elementary School, TN
  • Haley K., Harrison Elementary School, TN
  • Owen C., Hearst Elementary School, CA

6th-12th Grade

  • Claire R., South Doyle Middle School, TN
  • Connie S., Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, TN
  • Vineeta S., Glenda Dawson High School, TX
  • Ana C., Miami Palmetto Senior High School, FL
  • Hillah A., Miami Palmetto Senior High School, FL
  • Alexandra M., Miami Palmetto Senior High School, FL

If you have any questions, please contact: STEMEd@orau.org.

3rd-12th: Have you ever wished you could build your own school? ORISE is giving you an opportunity to put those wishes to paper! We ask that you think through the process of creating your very own STEM academy from scratch. You must create an advertisement intended to recruit new students and families to your school! You get to choose the way in which you advertise your school; it can be through a graphic, pamphlet, video commercial, etc. The plan can be hand drawn or made with a digital platform. We ask that you include a narrative in the perspective of a student on the 1st day of school at your STEM academy somewhere in your advertisement. Lastly, one of the most important aspects of your school are the details (e.g., who are the teachers, what classes are offered, etc.). Don’t forget to include details!

Students in 6th-12th grades have an additional challenge to include into their school advertisement. Your advertisement must also include a school philosophy statement explaining your school’s view on STEM and how it is incorporated into the school.

Students in K-2nd grades have the option of filling out the My STEM Academy worksheet.

TWELVE prizes will be awarded with 3 winners per grade band— three for K-2nd, three for 3rd-5th, three for 6th-8th, and three for 9th-12th.

K-2 Winners:

  • Kolbie R., St. Clair Elementary School, TN
  • Alexander M., APT Homeschool, TN
  • Alice K., Towne Acres Elementary School, TN

3-5 Winners:

  • Ojasvi M., West Field Elementary School, OK
  • Olivia E., Lake Ridge Elementary School, TN
  • Claire A., Towne Acres Elementary School, TN

6-8 Winners:

  • Simeon B., The School for the Creative and Performing Arts at Bluegrass, KY
  • Calla S., Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, TN
  • Zain M., The School for the Creative and Performing Arts at Bluegrass, KY

9-12 Winners:

  • Iris Y., Farragut High School, TN
  • Jenny N., Westminster High School, CA
  • Sean O., Tesoro High School, CA

Prizes

K-2 nd grade:

  • iPad and Osmo Kit

3 rd-5 th grade:

  • iPad and Dash coding robot

6 th-8 th grade:

  • iPad, Apple Pencil, and GoCube Bluetooth cube

9 th-12 th grade:

  • iPad and Apple Pencil

If you have any questions, please contact: STEMEd@orau.org

   

Have you ever been sitting outside and have something pique your interest? If you have, or haven’t, then this is your opportunity to share that curious something with us through photography! The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) wants you to go outside to your yard, balcony, porch, etc. and find a phenomenon that you find interesting and want to know more about. Take a picture of this phenomenon and develop a question that you want to know the answer to. Examples of questions you may ask include: “Why do some clouds look different than one another?” or “Why does the liquid underneath the car look like a rainbow?” After you develop your question, we would like you to research your phenomenon and share what you find! You can share your research with us by making a 3 to 5-minute video or PowerPoint. Please include a separate document with at least three reliable sources cited. FOUR prizes will be awarded—two for 6th-8th grades and two for 9th-12th grades.

Winners:

6 th-8 th :

  • Mila A., Moss Side Middle School, PA
  • Dylan K., David T. Howard Middle School, GA

9 th-12 th :

  • Megan E., Newton College and Career Academy, GA
  • Alexandra R., Jupiter High School, FL

Prizes:

  • Epic Outdoor Kit
    • Wise Owl Outfitter’s Hammock
    • 2-Person Camping Tent
    • Foldable Backpack
    • Waterproof Phone Pouch
    • Rechargeable Flashlight
    • Hiking Compass
    • And more!

If you have any questions, please contact: STEMEd@orau.org.

CALLING ALL OUTDOOR EXPLORERS! This May, the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) wants you to go outside and observe the world around you! We are asking that you find something in the outdoors that you think is interesting and discover more about it! Learn more about how to enter for a chance to win one of our Outdoor Explorer Bundles! FOUR prizes will be awarded with two winners per grade band—two for K-2nd grade and two for 3rd-5th.

Winners:

K-2:

  • Taryn S., Philip R Smith School, CT
  • Arslan S., Homeschool, SC

3-5:

  • Haddon S., Homeschool, TN
  • Dia G., Coldspring Elementary School, MD

Prizes:

Outdoor Explorer Bundle:

  • Kids Outdoor Backpack
  • Binoculars
  • Handheld Flashlight
  • Magnifying Glass
  • Terrarium
  • Butterfly Net
  • ORISE branded swag pack
  • And more!

If you have any questions, please contact: STEMEd@orau.org.

Crazy Contraptions

Have you ever been lying in bed, wishing you could turn off the light from across the room? Let’s hear how you’d do it! ORISE wants to see your idea for a crazy contraption that completes a simple task in a wacky way! To enter this competition, you will design your own Rube Goldberg machine to get the job done. Below you will find grade specific details on what your project should include! TWELVE prizes will be awarded with three winners per grade band—three for K-2nd, three for 3rd-5th, three for 6th-8th, and three for 9th-12th.

Winners:

K-2:

  • Thanya N., Ben Rush Elementary School, WA
  • Sydney R., Farragut Primary School, TN

3-5:

  • Milo R., Homeschooled, TN
  • Dia G., Coldspring Elementary School, MD
  • Aishwarya S., Sugarloaf Elementary School, MD

6-8:

  • Madison A., Rinngold Middle School, GA
  • Lyla W., Rinngold Middle School, GA
  • Layla G., South Doyle Middle School, TN

9-12:

  • Zsofi V., Jupiter Community High School, FL
  • Brent L., Jupiter Community High School, FL
  • Jason K., Owen J Roberts High School, PA

Prizes

K-2nd Grade Prizes:

  • Junior2 3D Pen and accessories
  • LEGO Classic Large Creative Brick Box and Lego Building Base Plates

3rd-5th Grade Prizes:

  • 3Doodler Start+ 3D Pen and accessories
  • LEGO Classic Large Creative Brick Box and Lego Building Base Plates

6th-8th Grade Prizes:

  • 3Doodler Start+ 3D Pen and accessories
  • LEGO Classic Large Creative Brick Box and Lego Building Base Plates

9th-12th Grade Prizes:

  • 3Doodler Create+ 3D Printing Pen and accessories
  • LEGO Classic Large Creative Brick Box and Lego Building Base Plates

6th-12th Graders: Ecosystems: A Balancing Act

Have you ever thought about the importance of balance? Balance is critical in all natural systems including the human body, water cycle, and ecosystems which brings us to our competition! Invasive species are new species introduced to an area that upset the balance of the ecosystem; they need to be controlled to restore harmony. The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) invites you to research and explore the effects of invasive species as well as create an infographic by hand or on a computer! We ask that you research an invasive species that impacts an area where you live (e.g., your state). Create an original graphic that displays your plan to reduce the effects of the invasive species on other populations within the ecosystem. It’s your job to restore balance to the ecosystem! SIX prizes will be awarded with three winners per grade band—three for 6th-8th and three for 9th-12th.

Winners:

6-8:

  • Selah C., Ringgold Middle School, GA
  • Zahiyah G., Blackman Middle School, TN
  • Sutton H., Blackman Middle School, TN

9-12:

  • Danial K., Farragut High School, TN
  • Darsh K., Nolensville High School, TN
  • Dhruv P., Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA), IL

Prizes

  • iPad mini
  • Apple Pencil
  • Sphero Mini
  • Sphero Mini Activity Kit

If you have any questions, please contact: STEMEd@orau.org

K-5th Graders: Exploring Habitats

Have you ever thought about all the different places you can go in the world? Well now is your chance because the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) wants you to be an explorer! For this competition, you will choose a habitat to explore and tell us all about what you find on your adventure! SIX prizes will be awarded with three winners per grade band—three for K-2nd and three for 3rd-5th.

Winners:

K-2:

  • Evelyn K., Towne Acres Elementary School, TN
  • Carter O., Cahaba Elementary School, AL
  • Payton G., Meigs South Elementary School, TN

3-5:

  • Constance E., Lake City Elementary School, TN
  • Ashley H., Paul Robeson Community School for the Arts, NJ
  • Shyanaa H., McFadden School of Excellence, TN

Prizes:

  • iPad
  • Sphero Mini
  • Sphero Mini Activity Kit

If you have any questions, please contact: STEMEd@orau.org