The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards award scholarships to teenagers in schools across the United States in over 29 categories including architecture, sculpture, painting, photography, poetry, dramatic script, fashion, animation, and video games. The competition was founded as a small writing competition with purpose of recognizing artistic and literary talent, but over time grew to include the current broad range of categories. Past winners include Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Stephen King, John Updike, Lena Dunham, Zac Posen and Joyce Carol Oates, among others. To enter, interested students must create an account and upload their work. The Scholastic Awards look for work characterized by “originality, technical skill, and emergence of a personal voice or vision”, as stated on their website. Interested students can visit online galleries from past winners to get a better understanding of the kind of work that is sought after.
Deadline: deadlines vary by region
Eligibility: public, private, or home-school students in the U.S., Canada, or American schools abroad enrolled in grades 7–12
Prize: students can win regional and national awards; national medalists receive certificates and medals and are considered for national exhibition, publication and scholarship opportunities.
The ExploraVision competition asks students to submit projects that research and reinvision current technologies and describe the development process, pros and cons of the technology in question and the obstacles to making it a reality. According to the competition website, over 375,000 students the United States and Canada have participated since 1992. Its sponsors, Toshiba, a multinational corporation offering a range of products primarily focused in information technology and electronics and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the largest organization of science teachers worldwide, have a shared commitment to technological progress and passion for science education. Therefore, the competition aims to encourage collaborative problem-solving with a focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Each project is required to have an abstract, description, bibliography, five sample Web pages, and it must be submitted online. No individual entries are eligible – instead, students must enter as part of a team of 2-4 students with a teacher or coach and optional mentor.
Science is now rarely, if ever, an individual effort. In requiring that students work within a team, the competition puts you in a more realistic, real-world scenario where you are required to work with others to solve a problem in such a way that the final product is shaped by all your perspectives. Indeed, the ExploraVision competition puts a emphasis on “real world problem solving” – it encourages students and mentors alike to go through the stages of completing a project in a collaborative effort that is informed by novel technological developments.
Examples of past winners include a project about a power cell that prevents hazardous lithium buildups and uses quantum materials to perform with increased efficiency, and a project about the use of carbon nanospheres to “reduce decoherence in quantum computing systems”. You can continue to browse past winning entries on the competition website to get an even better idea of the kind of work that is recognized by the ExploraVision Awards.
Deadline: February 8, 2018
Eligibility: K-12 students at all ability levels are invited to submit entries. Eligible entrants are United States or Canadian citizens and living within the United States, U.S. Territories or Canada and enrolled full-time in a public, private or home school, and must be no older than 21 years of age.
Prize: First Prize (4 teams) receives a U.S. EE Savings Bond worth $10,000* at maturity for each student. Second Prize (4 teams) receives a U.S. EE Savings Bond worth $5,000* at maturity for each student. National Finalists (8 teams) receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, DC in June for ExploraVision Awards Weekend for each student and his/her guardian. Regional Winners (24 teams) receive a technology/science-related gift per student and an awards ceremony for each regional winning team at its school where the team will receive a winner’s banner, plaque and other gifts. Honorable Mentions (500 teams) receive a unique prize and certificate for each student. Finally, a certificate of participation and a gift is awarded to every student belonging to a team that submits a complete project.
4) Regeneron Science Talent Search (formerly known as Intel Science Talent Search)
The Regeneron Science Talent Search is a research science competitions for high school seniors from the United States that has been running for over eight decades and is known as one of the oldest and most prestigious science competitions in the United States. Collectively, the competitions semi finalists and finalists have received millions of dollars in scholarships and gone on, in later years, to win Nobel Prizes, Fields Medals, MacArthur Fellowships and numerous other types of honors and recognition.
The four components of the application are: basic information and essay questions, research report, three recommendation letters (a project recommendation, a high school report, and an educator recommendation), and transcripts. Only individual research is eligible, and students must have results that they can report. The application including all subtasks can be found here, and interested students are advised to take a detailed look in advance. The final research report, which is the main component of the application, should demonstrate research ability, scientific originality, and creative thinking. Entrants can submit their project to one of the following categories: animal sciences, behavioral and social sciences, biochemistry, bioengineering, cellular and molecular biology, chemistry, computer science, computational biology and bioinformatics, earth and planetary science, engineering, environmental science, genomics, mathematics, medicine and health, materials science, physics, plant sciences, and space sciences. Examples of recently recognized projects include “Picoscale Mechanics of Atomically Engineered Materials”, “Cell Membrane-Coated Nanodevice for Anti-Virulence Therapy Against Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria”, “Optical Control of Protein Assembly and Activity in Cell-Like-Compartments”, “Cryptographically Secure Proxy Bidding in Ascending Clock Auctions”, etc.
Deadline: November 15, 2017
Eligibility: Any student enrolled in and attending his or her last year of high school in the US and its territories may apply, and students who are US citizens living abroad may qualify as well. Interested students should read the Rules and Entry Instructions for more information.
Prize: Prizes of $2,000 are awarded to 300 scholars, with an additional $2,000 going to their high schools to promote and support STEM education. All 40 finalists win an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC for the Regeneron Science Talent Institute where they present their research to some of the country’s top scientists and compete for the top 10 awards. The grand prize is $250,000.