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

ORISE is hosting two separate competitions for students in February. Find the K-5th grade competition below.

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

STEM Competitions for K-12 Students

Deadline: on or before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

CALLING ALL STUDENTS!!

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.

Prizes

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

Details:

  • Your infographic should include:
    • Your invasive species name
    • The location of your invasive species
    • Your realistic plan is to reduce the harm of the invasive species
  • Once again, we ask that your project be about an invasive species that affects the state or are in which you live.
  • This is a great opportunity for flow charts, but feel free to present the information in the way you prefer! No slideshow presentations will be accepted.
  • We ask that you cite where you got your information for your project in a typed document, separate from your infographic, and that you use and cite at least 2 sources.
  • If your submission is a link (for example: GoogleDoc, DropBox, etc), 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/Ecosystems.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/Ecosystems.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 Wednesday, February 1st, 2023. The deadline to submit is 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, February 28th, 2023.

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

K-5th Graders: Exploring Habitats

STEM Competitions for K-12 Students

Deadline: on or before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

CALLING ALL STUDENTS!!

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.

Prizes:

  • iPad
  • Sphero Mini
  • Sphero Mini Activity Kit

K - 2nd Grade Details:

  • A project includes students identifying and researching one habitat to explore and filling out the Exploring Habitats Worksheet. Example habitats include ocean, desert, grassland, polar, etc.
  • If your submission is a link (for example: GoogleDoc, DropBox, etc), 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 project- 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/ExploringHabitats.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.

3rd – 5th Grade Details:

  • A project includes a poster about one habitat that you want to explore. It can be generated on the computer or created using hard-copy materials.
    • Poster must include the following:
      • Name of chosen habitat
      • Three reasons you want to explore the habitat
      • An image of world map with locations of the habitat colored/identified
      • Weather of the habitat
      • Five different animals that can be found in the habitats (image must be colored and labeled)
      • Three different plants that can be found in the habitat (image must be colored and labeled)
    • If your submission is a link (for example: GoogleDoc, DropBox, etc), 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 project- 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/ExploringHabitats.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 two ORISE competitions in a 12-month period.

How to Enter:

  • To enter the contest, complete the form at https://orausurvey.orau.org/n/ExploringHabitats.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 Wednesday, February 1st, 2023. The deadline to submit is 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, February 28th, 2023.

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

Upcoming Competition

Past competitions and winners

6th-12th Graders: REMember the Importance of Sleep

 

Did you know that the average person spends 26 years of their life sleeping? Sleep plays such a critical role in everyone’s life! While it doesn’t seem like we’re doing much while sleeping, our bodies are working hard to help us get ready for the next day. With this said, ORISE would like you to research and explain the science behind sleep patterns and the effect they have on your school day. Demonstrate your research and experiences by writing them in a daily sleep journal that connects your everyday life to what you learn about the fascinating sleep cycle. Feel free to format your journal how you would like. For example, you can journal about the science behind sleeping as well as how you slept and how your school day went in the very same journal entry. We ask that you journal every day for two weeks for a total of 14 days. At the very end of your journal (your 14th journal entry), you will explain what healthy sleep habits you need to keep up and which unhealthy habits you need to change!

There will be a total of six prizes awarded: three for 6th-8th grade and three for 9th-12th grade. Further information on the sleep journal and prizes are below:

Winners announced soon!

Prizes

6th-8th grade:

  • Sunrise Alarm Clock
  • Noise Machine
  • Fitness Tracker
  • Coding Robot

9th-12th grade:

  • Sunrise Alarm Clock
  • Noise Machine
  • Fitbit
  • Coding Robot

 

K-5th Graders: Don’t Give Up on Your Dreams! Keep Sleeping

Why is it so hard to wake up in the morning? That’s because of Newton’s First Law—a body at rest wants to stay at rest. We’re just joking of course, but this joke brings up an important topic. Sleep plays such an important role in everyone’s life! While it doesn’t seem like we’re doing much while sleeping, our bodies are working hard to help us get ready for the next day. With this said, ORISE would like you to explore and record how the quality of your sleep affects your school day over a period of two weeks. Students in grade 3-5 can demonstrate their experiences by writing a journal that explains how well they slept and how this affected their school day. At the very end of their journal experience, they can analyze what healthy sleep habits they will continue and what unhealthy habits they need to change or stop during this new year. K-2nd graders can track their sleep by completing the worksheet provided below.

There will be a total of six prizes awarded—three for K-2nd grade and three for 3rd-5th grade. Further information on the sleep journal/worksheet and prizes are below:

Winners announced soon!

Prizes

  • Sunrise Alarm Clock
  • Noise Machine
  • Fitness Tracker
  • Coding Robot

 

6th-12th Graders: Into an Alternate Universe Student Challenge

Have you ever heard of the Butterfly Effect? This effect was originally proposed by a meteorologist named Edward Lorenz; the idea was that the smallest flap of a butterfly’s wings can cause great consequences such as a storm. In other words, one small change to a system can redirect the entire course of future events. ORISE wants to know YOUR “what if.” Show us your thoughts by researching a discovery or invention and creating a movie poster demonstrating what the world would look like without the STEM discovery of your choice for a chance to win the prizes listed below!

There will be a total of six winners, three from the 9th-12th grade entries and three from the 6th-8th grade entries who will receive the prize bundle below. Winners will be announced at a later date.

Winners

6th-8th:

  • Hayden G., TN
  • Kyli T., TN
  • Nevaeh T., TN

9th-12th:

  • Teresa N., CA
  • Ximing L., MD
  • Meghana M., NC

Prizes

  • iPad Mini
  • Apple Pencil
  • Spero Bolt

K-5th Graders: Attitude of Gratitude: What STEM discovery am I thankful for?

3rd-5th Grade

ORISE wants to know what scientific discovery or invention YOU are thankful for! We want you to show us your thoughts by creating a poster demonstrating the STEM discovery of your choice, the scientist/inventor of that discovery, and why you are thankful for it. Enter for a chance to win the prizes listed below!

K-2nd Grade

What scientific discovery or invention are you thankful for? The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education wants to know what you are thankful for and why. Show and tell us about the STEM discovery for which you are thankful, who discovered or invented it, and why you are thankful for it for.

There will be a total of six winners, three in 3rd-5th grade and three in K-2nd grade who will win the prize pack listed below. Winners will be announced at a later date.

Winners

K-2nd:

  • Caroline P., TN
  • River W., TN
  • Arslan S., SC

3rd-5th:

  • Ravi K., TN
  • Alisha N., TN
  • Katharine B., IL

Prizes

  • iPad
  • Plugo STEM Pack
  • Sphero Mini
  • Sphero Specdrums

What do you want to be when you grow up? There are so many different jobs in the world, from being a geometry teacher to a neurologist or even a rollercoaster engineer! It’s time to get into character because ORISE wants you to tell us all about your future dream STEM job! For this competition, you will pick a specialized occupation and tell us all about it. EIGHT prizes will be awarded with two winners per grade band.

Winners

  • Zoe V., VA
  • Crosby W., TN
  • Evangeline P., TN
  • Peyton C., TN
  • Claire R., TN
  • Ella Y., TN
  • Nikolai F., OH
  • Darsh K., TN

Prizes

  • K-2nd grade: HEXBUG Flash Nano Kit
  • 3rd-5th grade: 3D pen, 3D pen case, and filament
  • 6th-8th grade: Ender Pro 3D Printers
  • 9th-12th grade: Meta Quest 2 VR Headset Bundle

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

Do you have an extracurricular or activity that you participate in outside of school? The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) wants you to share how your extracurricular relates to STEM. The details below contain instructions for you to enter. TWELVE prizes will be awarded – three for K-2nd grade, three for 3rd-5th grade, three for 6th-8th grade, and three for 9th-12th.

Winners

K-2nd grade:

  • Lucas H., TN
  • Harper B., PA

3rd-5th grade:

  • Lisa O., MA
  • Aadhya P.,MD
  • Katherine T., FL

6th-8th grade:

  • Sean O., CA
  • Conner H., TN
  • Korey T., TN

9th-12th grade:

  • Justus S., TN
  • Devica S., FL
  • Teresa N., CA

Prizes

  • K-2nd grade: Leapfrog Academy
  • 3rd-5th grade: Q-BA-MAZE 2.0: Ultimate Stunt Set
  • 6th-8th grade: Mini Projector
  • 9th-12th grade: Mini Projector

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

ORISE wants you to share your passion. The details below contain instructions to share this favorite topic, whether it is related to history, science, art, sports, or anything else. TWELVE prizes will be awarded – three for K-2nd grade, three for 3rd-5th grade, three for 6th-8th grade, and three for 9th-12th.

Winners

K-2nd

  • Adilynn R., VA
  • Arslan S., SC
  • Ethan V., CA

3rd-5th

  • Naomi C., TN
  • Katherine T., FL
  • Tabarak A., WA

6th-8th

  • Catherine M., TN
  • Ephraim A., MD
  • Meghana M., NC

9th-12th

  • Neil L., GA
  • Jay L., GA
  • Nidheesh S., TX

Prizes

Winners will be given the opportunity to spend $200 on an approved STEM prize. See below for some ideas and ORISE’s favorite STEM prizes.

  • Telescope
  • Microscope
  • Coding Robots
  • Chemistry Sets
  • Rock Tumblers

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

Have you ever wanted to write your own book? Here is your chance to show off your creativity through writing! ORISE is asking that you create a science fiction story that is within the maximum pages for your grade band (found in details below). Winners will receive prizes to help spark your creativity and writing skills! TWELVE prizes will be awarded with three winners per grade band.

Winners

K-2nd grade:

  • Rajanya P., OR
  • Srishti D., NJ
  • Zoe V., VA

3rd-5th grade:

  • Ellie Kate M., TN
  • Alison R., TN
  • Scarlett Y., CA

6th-8th grade:

  • Grant K., TN
  • Sophia C., NJ
  • Makenna B. CA

9th-12th grade:

  • Ximing L., MD
  • Elaina C., TN
  • Noah S., TN

Prizes

K-2nd grade:

  • Illustory Book Making Kit
  • Tall Tales Story Telling Board Game
  • Desk Lamp Book Light
  • Leather Journal

3rd-5th grade:

  • Illustory Book Making Kit
  • Tall Tales Story Telling Board Game
  • Desk Lamp Book Light
  • Leather Journal

6th-8th grade:

  • The Writers Toolbox
  • Wreck this Journal
  • Desk Lamp Book Light
  • Leather Journal

9th-12th grade:

  • The Writers Toolbox
  • Wreck this Journal
  • Desk Lamp Book Light
  • Leather Journal

Women have made many great discoveries and paved the way for young women all over the world to purse STEM related careers. February 11 is a day dedicated to celebrating women in STEM careers! ORISE wants to hear from all K-12 students about a woman in STEM who inspires you! We are asking that you create a poster that creatively identifies a female STEM role model. 

Prizes

  • K-2nd grade: iPad and Osmo Kit
  • 3rd-5th grade: iPad and Teleplay Family Edition
  • 6th-12th grade: iPad mini, Apple Pencil, and Teleplay Family Edition

Winners

K-2nd grade:

3rd-5th grade:

6th-8th grade:

9th-12th grade:

January 17 is Kid Inventors’ Day! This month, ORISE wants to celebrate with all K-12 students by letting them express their creativity and problem solving skills through an invention. We are asking that you use the engineering design process and develop your own invention to solve a problem in your community. TWELVE prizes will be awarded with three winners per grade band.

Winners

K-2nd grade:

  • Shritha C., K
  • Rajanya P., 1st
  • Olivia E., 2nd

3rd-5th grade:

  • Colin M., 3rd
  • Rylee S., 4th
  • Katerin U., 5th

6th-8th grade:

  • Harmony C., 8th
  • Maya T., 8th
  • Aspen S., 8th

9th-12th grade:

  • Dhruv P., 11th 

Do you ever stop and think about what happens around you from day to day? Do you wonder how things work and why they work that way? Here is your chance to dive deeper into these great thoughts you have and find some answers! ORISE invites you to observe the world around you and document what you find! We are asking that you spend time examining the world and create a journal or a blog documenting your discoveries! 

Winners

K-2nd grade:

  • Evangeline P., TN
  • Luna T., AL

3rd-5th grade:

  • Kaya C., IL
  • Eilidh R., TN

6th-8th grade:

  • Haasini C., TN
  • Amiya P., TN
  • Abner S., NY

9th-12th grade:

  • Lucas H., FL
  • Allegra C., CA
  • Calvin D., CA