Best STEM Competitions For High School Students

The satisfaction that you feel when something is accomplished. The feeling that you have succeeded. The gratifying sensation you receive when you have won something.

Everyone wants a taste of what it means to feel like you can conquer the world. With rivalry and competitions, there is the opportunity to make greatness.

"I'm not in competition with anybody but myself. My goal is to beat my last performance." - Celine Dion

As a high school student, finding the motivation and encouragement to challenge yourself may be difficult. In our previous article last week (with over 600 reads!! 👏🏼), 7EDU highlighted writing competitions that students can participate in while in middle or high school. With overwhelming support, today's blog article will present tournaments for students curious and interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

So take four minutes out of your day, and see what STEM competitions might boost your college application!

Hoping to develop the career skills that the college admissions office is looking for? Take a look at yesterday's blog article!

Before you start, let's review what the curriculum of STEM is all about first. The focus of STEM education revolves around four main subjects: science, technology, engineering, and math.

High school students looking into the field of STEM will be taught the necessary tools and skillsets to intentionally blend the four subject areas.

The history behind the STEM curriculum began when Dr. Judith coined the word. As a director at the National Science Foundation in the early 2000s, developed the terminology to depict the intermixed education program her team was building. Originally referred to as SMET, the acronym was later changed to STEM.

Now that the foundational information revolving STEM and its history is explained, why should you - as a high school student - be interested in some friendly STEM competitions?

Why STEM Education?

Well for starters, STEM is everywhere. The products and services that you use on a daily basis are structured by science and innovative technology. Engineering provides us with the blueprint and basic designs for roads and bridges; mathematics is blended into our daily lives, in various activities that we do in a day.

“In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.” - National Science Foundation

Is artificial intelligence as popular as STEM education? See our blog post.

Being involved in a STEM-based competition will support students in establishing their skills in areas such as robotics, coding, game designs, and even more. Top universities and colleges desire candidates that go beyond their classroom curriculum to challenge themselves outside of school.

If you are keen on getting started and building your college application with STEM tournaments, let's take a look at top STEM competitions.

As director of a STEM department, 7EDU's co-founder and senior counselor, Dr. Yan Liu, provides tailored one-on-ones with our students.

Schedule a call with us at (408) 216-9109 to learn more 📲

Regeron Science Talent Search

A competition administered since 1942 by a non-profit organization, Society for Science & the Public (The Society for short), has been running for more than seven decades.

The competition is currently sponsored by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since the beginning of 2016.


Any student that is enrolled in and attending his or her last year of secondary school in the US and its territories may apply. Students that are US citizens living abroad may qualify. See this PDF for more information on Rules and Entry Instructions.


All entrants receive a t-shirt, laptop sticker, and a one-year subscription Science News magazine for their participation and completion of the extensive application.

300 individuals will be awarded $2,000, with an additional $2,000 going to their respective high schools to support STEM education.

The top 300 scholars will moreover be invited to apply for the Regeneron's summer internship program. All 40 finalists will win an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC for the Regeneron Science Talent Institute where they will have the opportunity to explain their research to some of the leading top scientists and compete for the top 10 awards.

Each finalist will receive a minimum $25,000 award with the chance to compete for the top award of $250,000.


The 2020 application is open now through November 13, 2019. See the application.



Google Science Fair

The renowned company, Google, holds the Google Science Fair that is open to students between the ages of 13 and 18 from all around the world.

The science competition is online and 16 of the global finalists travel to Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California to introduce their projects to the panel of expert judges.


The competition is open to both full-time and home-schooled students globally, between the ages of 13 and 18. Students have the option of registering individually, or as teams of three.


There are 179 prizes to be won from the Google Science Fair. Here are the top five:

  1. Google's Grand Prize - $50,000 an educational scholarship to further the Grand Prize winner's education.

  2. LEGO's Education Award - $15,000 educational scholarship and travel to LEGO in Billund, Denmark to see first-hand the history and hands-on learning of LEGO.

  3. National Geographic's Explorer Award - $15,000 educational scholarship, year-long mentorship, and travel to National Geographic Student Expedition to the Galápagos Islands with a diverse team of National Geographic experts and staff.

  4. Scientific American's Innovator Award - $15,000 educational scholarship, year-long mentorship, and travel to Scientific American Cruise to one of the fascinating destinations that include seminars and discussions with scientists on board.

  5. Virgin Galatic Pioneer Award - $15,000 educational scholarship, year-long mentorship, and travel to a tour of Virgin Galactic facilities to meet the group of engineers turning the Virgin Galactic dream into reality, as well as given the unique opportunity to get acquainted with Virgin Galactic’s spaceship.

53 state winners will receive an Android tablet and a Google goody bag that includes a t-shirt, tote, stickers, and more.

100 regional winners will receive Google Chromebook and a Google goody bag that includes a t-shirt, tote, stickers, and more.


The competition is currently closed. Refer back to their website here for updates on the upcoming Google Science Fair.



Science Olympiad

The Science Olympiad is a national non-profit organization with a mission towards "improving the quality of K-12 science education, increasing male, female and minority interest in science, creating a technologically-literate workforce and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by both students and teachers."

As one of the more famous STEM contests, the Science Olympiad is a competition founded in 1984 where teams of 15 students compete with one another in 23 separate events, focused on a variety of scientific subject areas such as Rocks and Minerals, Forensics, Physiology, and more.


The competition holds three separate divisions:

  • Division A (Grades K-6)

  • Division B (Grades 6-9)

  • Division C (Grades 9-12)

Students must be from the membership school and can compete only at one division level at a single school.

For individual requirements in each respective division, see this link.


  1. Science Olympiad Founders' Scholarship (Division C only) - Four students will receive a one-time, non-renewable $10,000 college scholarship to the college of their choice.

  2. Science Olympiad Spirit Awards (Divisions B and C) - One Division B team and Division C team will each receive a $2,000 check to be used toward advancing their school's Science Olympiad program.

  3. Coaching Excellence Awards (Division B and C) - Two middle school and two high school coaches will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Science Olympiad Summer Institute in Phoenix Arizona.

  4. Corteva Enterprise Award (Division B and C) - Annual trophy to best overall performance by a team exhibiting hard work but success at a high level.

For the full list of 2019 potential awards, see this PDF.


See this link for each event's deadline for the 23 offered.


A national registration fee of $60 per team. The school must be a member of the Science Olympiad.

Best STEM Competitions For High School Students
7EDU Impact Academy 7 July, 2021
Share this post
Best Skills To Have For A High School Student