2024 Competitions for Middle and High School Students

The landscape of college admissions evolves constantly, requiring applicants to demonstrate more than just strong academic performance on paper. While stellar GPAs and standardized test scores remain crucial, increasingly selective institutions seek well-rounded individuals who contribute meaningfully beyond the classroom. Participating in diverse extracurricular activities allows you to build transferable skills and showcase your passions.

Joining competitions is one avenue that you should look into if you want to stand out among other applicants. Diving into academic competitions showcases not just intelligence, but also your tenacity, problem-solving prowess, and ability to excel under pressure – all highly prized qualities by top universities.

2024 STEM Competitions for Middle and High School Students

3M Young Scientist Challenge

The challenge tasks students with developing novel solutions to real-world problems. Participants choose from six thematic entry topics and devise an original idea with a direct impact on themselves, their community, or even the world.


Open to legal U.S. residents who are at least ten (10) years of age as of May 2, 2024 and who are students enrolled in 5th through 8th grade.


May 2, 2024, 11:59pm ET

picoCTF 2024 Competition

picoCTF is the largest cybersecurity hacking competition for middle, high school, and college students. Competitors must reverse-engineer, break, hack, decrypt, and think creatively and critically to solve the challenges and capture the digital flags.


Participants 13 years and older of all skill levels are encouraged to compete. 

Competition period:

March 12-26 2024

To participate, you must have created your own individual picoCTF account before or during the Competition Period and work on the Competition challenges during some and/or all of the Competition Period. You do not have to enter the Competition by the first day of the Competition Period. However, the later you enter, the less time you have to work on the challenges during the Competition Period.

North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO)

NACLO is an annual competition specifically designed for high-school students (or younger) to solve linguistic puzzles. It aims to introduce students to computational problem-solving within the context of natural language data and processing, and has successfully attracted top students to study linguistics and computational linguistics.


The Open Round welcomes all middle school and high school students who are interested.


Open Rounds was held on January 25, 2024, and the advancing participants will compete in the invitational round on March 14, 2024. The top performers in the invitational round will then have the opportunity to participate in the International Linguistics Olympiad during the summer.

WiDS Datathon

The Women in Data Science Datathon is an opportunity to discover and hone data science skills while solving an interesting and critical social impact challenge. This competition is designed for data science enthusiasts who are discovering or building their data skills. In this year’s datathon challenge participants will analyze a unique oncology dataset to identify possible inequities in patient care, such as treatment duration and time to adoption of treatment.


The datathon is open to individuals or teams of up to 4 with at least half of each team must be women (individuals identifying as female participants). Competitions are open to residents of the United States and worldwide, with the exception of those residing in specific regions.

Entry and team merger deadlines:

WiDS Datathon I - Feb 27, 2024 

WiDS Datathon II - May 30, 2024

Technology Student Association High School Competitions

TSA offers 40 high school competitions to high schoolers in categories including STEM, technology and research, leadership, and more.


Eligibility for the competition varies by category, with options for both individual and team participation. Please consult the competition website for specific details on which categories accept which formats.

2024 Business Competitions for Middle and High School Students

Global Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (GYEC)

The Global Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (GYEC) presents an exciting opportunity for high school students to engage in a 12-hour online business idea competition. This initiative fosters entrepreneurial spirit and enhances students' understanding of business principles through the development of innovative and sustainable solutions to significant global problems. Teams of high school students from around the world collaborate to develop their business ideas, fostering global connections and promoting impactful change.


Eligible participants are high school students aged 14 to 19. To register for the competition, participants must form a team of up to 8 eligible students.


March 21, 2024.


AdVenture Capital ignites student leadership by funding solutions for healthier and more meaningful school communities. Partner with experts and mentors to develop your project, hone your change-making skills, and compete for funding in a live pitch competition. Turn your big idea into reality and make a lasting impact on your school!


For students 13 years and older

DECA Competitive Events

DECA empowers aspiring leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. Dive into diverse competitions like role-plays, case studies, and online simulations, testing your skills and connecting with peers across the nation.


The high school programs are open to DECA members and may be individual or in teams of up to 3 students, and are divided into three categories.

Diamond Challenge  

The Diamond Challenge invites ambitious young minds to embark on a global journey, transforming their passions into impactful business or social ventures. Competing for a substantial $100,000 prize pool, participants leverage the program's comprehensive curriculum, expansive global network, and exclusive opportunities, culminating in an unforgettable experience.


Teams must consist of 2-4 high school students aged 14-18 at the submission deadline. Each team is required to have one adult advisor aged 21 or older.

Pirates Pitch Competition for High School Students 

Seton Hall University's Pirates Pitch Competition invites high school students to submit their original business ideas in 350 words. Compete for a $2,500 cash prize and a potential $10,000 scholarship spread over four years at the university. This competition fosters entrepreneurial skills and idea generation for aspiring young minds.


All high school sophomores, juniors and seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Applications Open:

Applications will be accepted starting Monday August 26, 2024.
We will be releasing a second part for this blog topic, focusing on 2024 Arts and Writing Competitions for Middle and High School Students.

Discover the power of competition as a motivating force for students! 

Join our webinar to analyze top competitions tailored for both high school and middle school students.

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7EDU Impact Academy 23 February, 2024
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Competition Spotlight: North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO) 2024