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Crazy for Contests

This wide assortment of contests includes those that are school competitions and others that are independent projects that must be submitted to judges. A few are personal challenges as opposed to team competition. Many contests accommodate home educating co-ops and families. 

General/ Multi-Discipline

Amazing Kids! Magazine[email protected], 206-331-3807. All ages. Online visual art and creative writing contests.

Color Maryland Green Gr. K-12. Art and poetry contest designed to inspire Maryland students to enjoy and respect the state’s great outdoors and natural resources. Submissions of visual art, poetry, photos, and videos accepted.

Davidson Institute for Talent Development Fellows[email protected], 775-852-3483 x 435. Ages 18-under. $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarships in recognition of outstanding achievements in the areas of science, technology, mathematics, music, literature, philosophy, or “outside the box.”

Destination ImagiNation[email protected], 856-881-1603. Gr. K-12. Team effort to creatively solve a long-term science- or humanities-based team challenge. 

Knowledge Master Open[email protected], 800-321-9218. Gr. 5-12. 100-200 curriculum-based questions requiring answers.

Math, Trivia & Word Quizzes,[email protected]. All ages. Hundreds of educational games, activities, quizzes, and more from Sheppard Software designed for classroom competition.

Odyssey of the Mind[email protected], 302-331-3392. Gr. K–college. Problem-solving competition, ranging from building mechanical devices to presenting an interpretation of literary classics.

President’s Challenge (The) Physical Fitness Test,[email protected], 800-258-8146. Gr. 1–12. Fitness and/or sports challenge spanning approximately four months. Program of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards (The)[email protected]. Gr. 7-12. Contest featuring 28 categories of art and writing for exhibit, publication, and scholarships. Sponsored by The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers.

SkillsUSA, 703-777-8810. Gr. 9-12. Competitions showcasing the best career and technical students in the nation.

Teen Ink[email protected], 617-964-6800. Ages 13-19. Contest featuring magazines, websites, and books written by teens. Writing, art, photography, and other contests for publication. 

United States Academic Decathlon[email protected], 866-511-8723. Gr. 9-12. Competition in a variety of disciplines including economics, art, language and literature, mathematics, music, social studies, and science.

World Scholar’s Cup[email protected], 866-336-4332. Ages 11-18. Competition inviting students to explore a challenging theme centered around science, economics, the arts, literature, history, or current affairs, and master four events: debate, writing, challenge exam, Scholar’s Bowl.


Art Institutes North American Future Student Competitions (The), 888-624-0300. Gr. 9-12. Scholarship competition for students who wish to pursue a creative degree at one of The Art Institutes schools.

Doodle 4 Google[email protected]. Gr. K-12. Contest showcasing Google doodles inspired by a specific annual theme.

Jason Project (The)[email protected], 703-822-7238. Gr. K-12. Environmental art contest that connects students and teachers with real scientific exploration and discovery.

KinderArt[email protected]. Gr. K-12. Links to KinderArt-sponsored and other art competitions for kids.

Ranger Rick “Your Best Shots” Photography Contest,[email protected]. Ages 13-under. Nature photo contest in which the winners’ shots are featured in the Ranger Rick magazine and on the website.

“Stuck At Prom” Duck Brand Duct Tape Scholarship Gr. 9-12. Competition promoting creation of prom clothes made of duct tape. 

History/Social Sciences

Being an American Essay Contest,[email protected], 703-894-1776. Gr. 9-12. Contest challenging students to explore what it means to be an American and their civic responsibilities. Sponsored by The Bill of Rights Institute.

Doors to Diplomacy[email protected], 760-635-0001. Gr. 6-12. Web projects that teach others about the importance of international affairs and diplomacy.

Knight Essay Contest (The)[email protected]. Gr. 10-12. Contest inviting students to discuss an event, person, philosophy, or ideal associated with the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, or the framing of the U.S. Constitution. Sponsored by the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution.

LifeSmarts[email protected], 202-835-3323. Gr. 6-12. Online and actual competitions to encourage students to learn about the consumer issues they face today and in the future. Sponsored by the National Consumers League.

Model United Nations, 212-887-9040. Gr. 6-12. Program inviting students to debate as ambassadors on current issues on the United Nations’ agenda. 

National Geography Bee, National Geographic Society[email protected], 202-828-6659. Gr. 4-8. Geography competition in a quiz format.

National High School Mock Trial Championship,[email protected], 515-243-3179. Gr. 9-12. Trial simulations, including statement of facts, indictment, stipulations, witness statements/affidavits, jury charges, exhibits, etc.

National History Day, Maryland Humanities Council[email protected], 410-685-0095. Gr. 4-12. Dramatic performances, imaginative exhibits, multimedia documentaries, and research papers related to an annual theme. 

Patriot’s Pen Gr. 6-8. Nationwide essay contest with an emphasis on American history. Sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Reconnecting the Circle’s National High School Essay[email protected]. Gr. 9-12. Contest encouraging students to explore Native American culture.

Voice of Democracy Gr. 9-12. Nationwide essay contest with an emphasis on American history. Sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Language Arts/Writing

Baltimore Science Fiction Society, Jack L. Chalker Young Writers’, 410-563-2737, 301-596-3936. Ages 14-18. Contest featuring science fiction or fantasy writing.

Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards, 805-965-3443. Three age categories: Adult, Youth 13-18, and Youth 12 & under. Annual series of awards to encourage poets to explore and illuminate positive visions of peace and the human spirit.

BIC Quality Comes in Writing Essay Contest, Lifetime Learning Systems,[email protected]. Gr. 4-6. Short essay contest.

Center Stage Young Playwrights Festival[email protected], 410-986-4000. Gr. 1-12. Competition showcasing original plays.

Letters About Literature,[email protected], 202-707-5000. Gr. 4-12. National reading/writing contest inviting students to write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre, explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s way of thinking about the world or him/herself. Sponsored by the Library of Congress.

National Youth Storytelling Showcase,[email protected]. Ages 8-18. Local and national storytelling competition.

Scripps National Spelling Bee Gr. 8-under. 

Weekly Reader Student Publishing Contest[email protected], 302-295-8351. Gr. 3-12. Contest honors the best nonfiction writing by students, accepting print and digital entries.


American Mathematics Competitions (AMC)[email protected], 800-527-3690. Gr. 6-12.

“A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words” Poster Contest – poster[email protected], 410-704-2137. Gr. 1-8. Opportunity for students to creatively demonstrate their understanding of economic concepts. Sponsored by the Maryland Council on Economic Education.

MATHCOUNTS Competition Program[email protected], 301-498-6141. Gr. 6-8. Competitive program featuring “bee”-style contests.

Math League Math Contests Online,[email protected], 201-568-6328. Gr. 4-8, Algebra I.

Math Olympiads[email protected], 866-781-2411. Gr. 4-8. Team problem solving contests.

Moody’s Mega Math Challenge[email protected], 215-382-9800. Gr. 11-12. Internet-based applied mathematics challenge. Scholarships awarded. Sponsored by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)/ The Moody’s Foundation.

Stock Market Game – smgame[email protected], 410-704-2137. Gr. 4-12. Simulation that teaches about the stock markets, the American economic system, and the global economy. Sponsored by the Maryland Council on Economic Education.


American Computer Science League Computer Science Contest,[email protected]. Gr. 6-12.

Boosting Engineering Science & Technology (BEST) Robotics,[email protected], 334-844-5759. Gr. 6-12. Team competition to inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, science, technology, and math through participation in a sports-like, science- and engineering-based robotics competition.

Botball Educational Robotics Program[email protected], 405-579-4609. Gr. 6-12. Team-oriented robotics competition based on national science education standards.

Chemistry Olympiad, click on Education/Students/High School;[email protected], 800-227-5558. Gr. 9-12. Multi-tiered competition designed to test students’ knowledge and skills in high school chemistry.

Christopher Columbus Awards,[email protected], 800-291-6020. Gr. 6-8. Science and technology competition encouraging students to use the scientific process to solve real-world problems and change their communities.

eCYBERMISSION[email protected], 1-866-GoCyber. Gr. 6-9. Web-based science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) team competition working to solve problems in the community.

ExploraVision, 800-EXPLOR9. Gr. K-12. Competition encouraging students to imagine what technology might be like in the future.

FIRST LEGO League (FLL)[email protected], 603-666-3906. Gr. K-8. Team challenge requiring students to program a robot to score points on a playing field, and to develop a solution to a problem they have identified.

FIRST LEGO League (FLL) FIRST Tech Challenge,[email protected], 603-666-3906. Gr. 9-12. Competition to design, build, and program robots based on sound engineering principles.

FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)[email protected], 603-666-3906. Gr. 9-12. Team challenge alongside professional engineers to build and compete with a robot of their own design for college scholarships.

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair,[email protected], 202-785-2255. Gr. 9-12. Pre-college competition. 

Maryland Engineering Challenge, Baltimore Museum of Industry,[email protected], 410-727-4808. Gr. 1-12. Hands-on engineering activities/challenges promoting technological literacy.

National Engineers Week Future City Competition,[email protected], 877-636-9578. Gr. 6-8. Engineering program that combines a stimulating engineering challenge with a hands-on application to present students’ vision of a city of the future.

National Science Decathlon Gr. 5-9 & 9-12. Competitive, hands-on, science-based team tournaments throughout the United States.

Science Olympiad, 630-792-1251. Gr. K-12. Rigorous academic interscholastic competitions that consist of a series of individual and team events.

Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology[email protected], 877-822-5233. Gr. 9-12. Individual or team competition to achieve national recognition and scholarships for science research projects completed in high school.

Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, 800-323-9084. Gr. K-12. Environmental sustainability competition that challenges students to learn about science and conservation while creating solutions to problems that impact our planet. Scholarships awarded.

Six Flags Physics Day,[email protected]. Gr. 5-8 & 9-12. Team effort to build roller coaster models built of materials that include wood, wire, string, or other low cost items.

Team America Rocketry Challenge[email protected], 703-358-1033. Gr. 7-12. Team effort to design, build, and fly a model rocket with a raw egg payload that reaches a specific altitude and duration. Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association and the National Association of Rocketry.

Technology Student Association (TSA) TEAMS (Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics and Science)[email protected], 703-860-9000. Gr. 9-12. Competition challenging students to work collaboratively applying math and science knowledge in practical, creative ways to solve everyday engineering problems.

ThinkQuest Ages 9-19. Challenges requiring students to solve problems using technology.

U.S. Physics Olympiad[email protected], 301-209-3340. Gr. 9-12. Annual competition to represent the United States at the International Physics Olympiad Competition. 

About MTG Staff


  1. Good Morning,

    This is a great list! How do I get my competition posted in Baltimore’s Child?

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