Competitions are a great way for motivated students to learn more and meet other students who are also interested in STEM. Below are some computer science-related competitions for elementary, middle, and high school students.
THINK is a science research and innovation competition for high school students who have done extensive research on the background of a potential research project and are looking for additional guidance in the early stages of their project. The program is organized by a group of undergraduates at MIT. Selected finalists will receive up to $1000 in funding for their project and are invited to a four-day all-expenses paid trip to MIT’s campus where they meet professors in their field of research, tour labs, attend MIT’s x Fair. Applications for the 2018- 2019 competition will be opening in mid-October, so check their website for updates!https://think.mit.edu
American Computer Science League Contests (High school)
ACSL organizes computer science contests and computer programming contests for elementary, junior, and senior high school students. The first contest is on December 21, 2018.www.acls.org
Cutler-Bell Prize (High school)
The ACM/CSTA Cutler-Bell Prize in High School Computing is a prize designed to recognize talented high school students intending to continue their higher education in the areas of computer science or technology. The program seeks to promote and encourage the field of computer science, as well as to empower young and aspiring learners to pursue computing challenges outside of the traditional classroom environment. Up to four winners will be selected and each will be awarded a $10,000 scholarship prize. Applications for the award close January 5, 2018. https://www.csteachers.org/page/CutlerBell
USA Computing Olympiad (High school)
The International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), the most prestigious international computing contest at the high school level, was launched in 1989 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), designed in the spirit of several other prominent high-school olympiads. The 2018 USA Computing Olympiad just completed earlier this month, but you can learn more at http://www.usaco.org/index.php
TSA Competitions (Middle school & High school)
The Technology Student Association (TSA) is a national organization of students engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Open to students enrolled in or who have completed technology education courses, TSA’s membership includes more than 250,000 middle and high school students across the United States. TSA competitions include categories such as Biotechnology Design, Career Prep, Coding, Digital Photography, Dragster Design, Flight, Leadership Strategies, Medical Technology, Prepared Presentation, Software Development, Technology Problem Solving, Video Game Design, Webmaster, and much more. Learn more about the TSA Competitions at http://tsaweb.org/tsa
Google Code-in (Middle school & High school)
Google Code-in is a contest to introduce students (ages 13-17) to open source software development. Open source organizations chosen by Google provide a list of tasks for students to work on during the 7 weeks contest period. A unique part of the contest is that each task has mentors from the organization assigned should students have questions or need help along the way. The contest begins October 23, 2018. https://codein.withgoogle.com
NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC)
NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC) provides a long-term community for female technologists, from K-12 through higher education and beyond, encouraging persistence in computing through continuous engagement and ongoing encouragement at each pivotal stage of their educational and professional development. Additionally, they gain exclusive access to scholarships, internships, and job opportunities. Women in grades 9 through 12 who are active and interested in computing and technology are eligible to apply by November 5, 2018. https://www.aspirations.org/participate/high-school
FIRST Competitions (K-12)
The mission of FIRST® is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.
FIRST LEGO League
Jr.* is designed to introduce STEM concepts to kids ages 6 to 10 while exciting them through a brand they know and love − LEGO®. Guided by two or more adult Coaches, FIRST LEGO League* teams (up to 10 members, grades 4-8**) research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build, program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS®, then compete on a table-top playing field.
FIRST Tech Challenge
Teams (10+ members, grades 7-12) are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. Participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have!”
Learn more about the FIRST Competitions at https://www.firstinspires.org/