Do you have a budding scientist in the household? They can tap their talents to win prizes in contests that encourage young scientists. Here are some of the top science fair competitions held across the US and sometimes globally.
Google Science Fair: Internet giant Google hosts an international, annual, online competition for students aged between 13 and 18. The focus for this competition is for innovative entries that have the potential to change the world. The prizes are amazing. The grand prize for 2013 was $50,000 scholarship funding and a 10-day trip to Galapagos Islands with National Geographic Expeditions. For more info, visit https://www.googlesciencefair.com/en/2013/.
Intel International Science and Engineering Fair: Students in grades 9-12 who are among the top winners in local ISEF affiliated fairs are invited to participate in this competition. The combined total of all prizes awarded across several categories comes to over 4 million dollars. For more info, visit http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/education/competitions/international-science-and-engineering-fair.html.
Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS): This is a scholarship program open to students in grades 9-12 and conducted collaboratively between educational institutions and the U.S. Department of Defense. There are several levels of wins ranging from certificates of achievement to tuition scholarships. Teachers from each region are also recognized with a $500 prize for promoting scientific research. For more info, visit http://www.jshs.org/.
National Science Bowl: This is a question-type competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy annually for middle and high school students who work in teams. Science bowls are held around the country for qualification at the national level. For more info, visit http://science.energy.gov/wdts/nsb/.
National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE): This fair is open to students in grades 6-12 and has two levels—middle school and high school. The goal is to encourage a love for science in black students. For more info, visit http://www.nsbe.org/NSBE-Jr/Competitions-and-Contests/Science-Fair.aspx.
Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology: The brightest young minds compete for scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. From the website, the Siemens Foundation believes that "by supporting outstanding students today, and recognizing the teachers and schools that inspire their excellence, the Foundation helps nurture tomorrow’s scientists and engineers." For more info, visit http://www.siemens-foundation.org/en/competition.htm.
To help inspire young scientists, consider these resources:
101 Great Science Experiments
The Complete Handbook of Science Fair Projects