Science programs and competitions

Science competitions, programs and special opportunities

Below you will find information about science competitions and programs. You can always speak with your science or research teacher if you are interested to participate. Some contests and programs allow you to enter independently, whether as an individual competitor or as part of a team. Some contests offer prizes and awards, as well as the chance to travel for national or international competitions.

Click here for science contests and competitions for Middle School students

Essay Contests and Scholarships:

AASM High School Topical Review in Sleep Science Contest This writing contest offers a top prize of a $1,000 U.S. savings bond and a trip for two to San Antonio. High school juniors and seniors in the U.S. are eligible to enter.  To enter the contest students must submit an original review paper.     

The Young Naturalist Awards Plan and conduct your own scientific investigation and tell about your investigation in an essay that includes tables, charts, or graphs and artwork or photographs that help illustrate your findings. Two scholarships ($500-$2,500) are awarded to the winning essays at each grade level (grades 7-12). The deadline is in early January.

DNA Day Essay Contest The contest aims to challenge students to examine, question, and reflect on the important concepts of genetics. Essays are expected to contain substantive, well-reasoned arguments indicative of a depth of understanding of the concepts related to the essay questions. Cash prizes ($150-$400).

Otto P. Burgdorf Science Research Competition encourages students from grades 9 through 12 enter their research papers, in any area of science, in this annual competition.

DuPont Challenge invites students grades 7 – 12 to write a 700- to 1,000-word essay about a scientific discovery, theory, event or technological application. Winners receive savings bonds up to $5,000 and an expenses paid trip to Walt Disney World and the Kennedy Space Center. 

Toshiba Exploravision ExploraVision is a science competition that encourages K-12 students of all interest, skill and ability levels to create and explore a vision of future technology by combining their imaginations with the tools of science. All inventions and innovations result from creative thinking and problem solving.  The first prize consists of a $10,000 US Savings Bond for each student on the winning team. The second prize consists of a $5,000 US Savings Bond for each student on the winning team. 

West Point Bridge Design Contest
The West Point Bridge Design Contest is open to US students age 13 through grade 12 at the time of registration. Students compete individually (team of one) or in teams of two members. This engineering competition involves designing truss bridges. Each member of the first-place team receives a $10,000 scholarship. Each member of the five finalist teams wins a notebook computer.

High School Essay Contest - The contest aims to challenge students to question and deliberate the purposes and social implications of scientific research. Essays are expected to contain substantive, well-reasoned arguments (rather than simply opinions) that indicate a depth of understanding of scientific and societal issues. All high school students who attend school in Suffolk or Nassau County are eligible

EngineerGirl Essay Contest for boys and girls ages 8-15 to solve problems dealing with engineering and its impact on our world. Cash prizes are offered. (First-place $500, second-place $250, third-place $100).

KidsKnowIt Network Contest  Children may enter science contest as a class, or individually and must be between the ages of 1 and 18. 

Entries must be in one of the science disciplines (submitted in art; photography; essay or project category). 

Team America Rocketry Challenge
Team America Rocketry Challenge is a national model rocket competition open to US junior high school and high school students (grades 7-12). It is sponsored by AIA and the National Association of Rocketry. The top 100 teams compete for $60,000 in scholarships.

Cambridge Science Festival’s Curiosity Challenge Students grades 1-12 are invited to write an essay, draw or take a picture about their curiosity and tell us how it prompted them to explore the world. 

Neuroscience for Kids POETRY WRITING CONTEST Students grades 1-12 are invited to write poems, limericks and haiku about the nervous system in the style for the corresponding age group

The Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) is an annual competition that provides high school students, grades 9 – 12, the opportunity to work on real world engineering challenges in a team environment. 

ThinkQuest is an annual team competition in which students ages 9-19 create innovative and educational web sites. Prizes include laptop computers, MP3 players, and digital cameras.

 National STEM Video Game Challenge is a multi-year competition whose goal is to motivate interest in STEM learning among America’s youth by tapping into students’ natural passion for playing and making video games.

Quiz Competitions:

Brain Bee 11th annual Long Island University Brain Bee competition will be held on Saturday, March 6, 2010, at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University in Brookville. Eligibility to be a competitor: Long Island high school students who have read "Brain Facts." Participation in the Brain Bee preparatory course is recommended. All questions for the C.W. Post Campus Brain Bee competitions come from the book "Brain Facts: A Primer on the Brain and Nervous System," published by the Society for Neuroscience.

High School Regional Science Bowl - The Department of Energy's National Science Bowl® is an academic competition among teams of high school students who answer questions on scientific topics in astronomy, biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, earth, computer and general science. BNL hosts the LI/NY regional competition. All Long Island HS students are eligible to participate. Prizes are awards to the top four teams, and the winning team is invited to participate in National Science Bowl.

National Science Bowl The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Science Bowl® is a nationwide academic competition that tests students' knowledge in all areas of science. High school and middle school students are quizzed in a fast paced question-and-answer format similar to Jeopardy.

Environthon - teams from participating states and Canadian provinces compete for recognition and scholarships by demonstrating their knowledge of environmental science and natural resource management.  

Western Long Island Science Olympiad

New York State Science Olympiad 

USABO-Biology Olympiad is a premiere biology competition for high school students in the United States. After two rounds of challenging exams, twenty Finalists are invited to a residential training program where they learn advanced biological concepts and exacting lab skills at a major research university. Ultimately, four students earn the right to represent the USA at the International Biology Olympiad (IBO), a worldwide competition involving student teams from roughly sixty countries.

United States Chemistry Olympiad The U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad and the International Chemistry Olympiad are multi-tiered competitions that bring together the world’s most talented high school students to test their knowledge and skills in chemistry. Nations around the world conduct examinations to nominate the most high-performing students for the International Chemistry Olympiad

Science programs during the year: 

The Columbia University Science Honors Program (SHP)
is a highly selective program for students who have a strong interest in science and mathematics. Classes are held at Columbia from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM on Saturdays throughout the academic year. Applicants for the 2010-2011 school year must now be in the eleventh, tenth, or ninth grade and must apply online.

Summer Science Programs

Summer science programs at the Dolan DNA Center:
DNA Science (entering grades 10–12) provides extensive lab experience with the basic techniques of recombinant DNA, including DNA restriction and ligation, bacterial transformation, and plasmid isolation. Participants perform the entire lab sequence from the popular DNA Science text.

NEW! Silencing Genomes (DNA Science alumni entering grades 10-12) explores the power of RNA interference (RNAi), a Nobel-prize winning discovery that has revolutionized how genes are studied. Working with the small round worm C. elegans, participants examine mutants, inactivate genes by RNAi, and examine the RNAi mechanism.

Human Genomics (DNA Science alumni entering grade 11 or 12) integrates biochemical and computer methods used to analyze the genetic complement (genome) of humans. Participants identify several types of DNA variations in their own DNA and use these as starting points to explore theories of human origins and applications in personalized medicine.

Plant Genomics (DNA Science alumni entering grade 11 or 12) integrates biochemical and computer methods for analyzing plant genes. Participants examine food products for signs of genetic modification, detect ”jumping genes” discovered by CSHL Nobelist Barbara McClintock, and have the unique opportunity to assist scientists with the analysis of newly discovered genes in rice.

Summer programs for high school students at Stony Brook University

Biotechnology Summer Camp - this program will introduce motivated high school students to the techniques used in modern biotechnology research. This is a mandatory residential program. 

Engineering Summer Camp - this program will introduce motivated high school students to the various fields in engineering. Students who will be juniors or seniors in the fall of 2010. Students with a strong background in math and science are recommended. 

Summer science program at Brookhaven National Laboratory is for advanced high school students who have an interest in a science, engineering, or math career and is intended to assist students with their science-based career plans. Students completing their sophomore or junior year in high school, and are at least 15 years old by July 20, are eligible to participate in this five-week commuter program that includes morning lectures by BNL's scientists and engineers, tours of BNL's unique facilities, and afternoon workshops.

Summer programs in Alfred University:

       Chemistry: Summer "Pre-Chemistry" Camp  This dynamic, week-long residential program (July 11-16, 2010) in Alfred University provides a great head start for students aged 13-15 who are interested in science but have not yet taken a high school chemistry class.

Astronomy Institute in Alfred University This exciting residential program is designed for students entering grades 10-12 who love astronomy and want to spend time learning more about this fascinating subject with other students who share their passion.

Summer Institute in Science and Engineering: Engineering the Elements - Polymers and Electronic Ceramics in Alfred University is an opportunity to learn more about engineering, to sample life on a college campus and to meet other students with similar interests and academic ability. Students will participate in hands-on lab experiences focusing on polymers and electronic ceramics.

Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) offers summer research experiences to students at different levels of their academic development. This is a competitive program designed for talented high school students throughout the USA, who will have just completed their junior year (Class of 2011).  The program will run from June 28-August 13, 2010.  Admitted students must be present for the entire 7-week program.

GW Pre-College at the George Washington University includes 10-day intensive, demanding and highly-structured courses in 
Biomedical Engineering and Robotics that are designed to provide an introductory college experience. All courses are open to current 9th, 10th and 11th graders.

National Youth Science Camp is one of the nation's premier programs in secondary science education.  Since its inception in 1963 as part of West Virginia's Centennial Celebration, the residential summer program has offered educational forums and recreational activities that encourage the development of thoughtful scientific leadership. Two students are selected to represent each state and delegates must participate in the entire NYSC program.

WiE RACE (Reaching A Career in Engineering) Formerly known as the Engineers in Motion Summer Camp, WiE RACE is a six-day, residential summer program for high school students, both men and women, who are going into grades 10 or 11 in the fall following the camp. 

WiE RISE (Respected, Involved, Skilled, Empowered)  is a new six-day, residential summer program for high school women who are going into grade 12 in the fall following the camp.

The Summer Science Program (SSP) is a residential enrichment program in which gifted high school students complete a challenging hands-on research project in celestial mechanics. By day, students learn college-level astronomy, physics, calculus and programming. By night, working in teams of three, they take a series of telescopic observations of a near-earth asteroid, and write software to convert those observations into a prediction of the asteroid's orbit around the sun. Stimulating guest speakers and  field trips round out the curriculum.

National Youth Science Camp Two graduating high school students will be selected to represent New York at the all-expenses paid honors program.

ISSI − Dr. Bessie F. Lawrence International Summer Science Institute The International Summer Science Institute is open to talented science-oriented students who will have just graduated from high school prior to the starting date. Three weeks are devoted to the laboratory scientific research. Choose the lab that interests you most from among the fields of biochemistry, biology, chemistry, mathematical and computer sciences, and physics. You will be working in labs with sophisticated equipment and veteran researchers who have chosen an exciting career in scientific research.

Summer science programs aborad

Oxbridge Academic Programs. Summer study abroad - variety of science courses for junior high and high school students in Oxford, Cambridge, Paris, Montpellier and Barcelona.

ISSI − Dr. Bessie F. Lawrence International Summer Science Institute (Israel) Twenty high school seniors from the US work on research projects alongside professionals, getting hands-on experience in one of today's cutting-edge fields of research.

Knowledge Exchange Institute for Science, Engineering and Biomedical Research summer programs in Russia or Thailand for motivated high school students; 6 to 9 college credits.

Original Research Competitions:

Siemens Competition - Through this competition, students have an opportunity to achieve national recognition for science research projects that they complete in high school. It is administered by The College Board and funded by the Siemens Foundation.

The Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS) is America’s most prestigious science research competition for high school seniors. Since 1942, first in partnership with Westinghouse and beginning in 1998 with Intel, SSP has provided a national stage for America’s best and brightest young scientists to present original research to nationally recognized professional scientists.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, provides an annual forum for more than 1,500 high school students from over 50 countries, regions, and territories to showcase their independent research. 

The Young Epidemiology Scholars (YES) Competition for original student research awards up to 120 college scholarships each year to high school juniors and seniors who conduct outstanding research projects that apply epidemiological methods of analysis to a health-related issue.

The Young Naturalist Awards is an inquiry-based science competition for students in grades 7-12 to promote participation and communication in science

The International Young Scientist Competition (IYSC) encourage reports from young scientists in their junior and senior year in high school, recognizing that they have participated in various types of research programs either at their high schools or in professional research laboratories.

Davidson Fellows Davidson Fellowships are awarded by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development to US students under age 18 who have completed a significant piece of work in the fields of Mathematics, Science, Technology, Music, Literature, Philosophy or Outside the Box. The significant piece of work should have the potential to benefit society. The focus of the program is on gifted and talented students. There is no minimum age for eligibility. Four $50,000 scholarships, seven $25,000 scholarships, and five $10,000 scholarships are awarded each year.

Long Island Junior Science and Humanities Symposium  invites high school students to submit a paper on an original research investigation in the sciences, engineering, or mathematics, and to participate in Long Island Regional Symposium at Stony Brook University (SUNY).

Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS) Program is designed to challenge and engage students (Grades 9-12) in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). Individual students compete for scholarships and recognition by presenting the results of their original research efforts before a panel of judges and an audience of their peers. 

New York State Science and Engineering Fair (NYSSEF) is the Intel ISEF/Science Service affiliated State Fair for New York. 

Long Island Science Congress is an adjudicated exhibit of science projects by students of Nassau County and Suffolk County middle schools, junior high schools and senior high schools, sponsored by the Long Island Sections of the Science Teachers Association of New York State (STANYS).  

The STANYS New York State Science Congress  encourages students present their research orally to judges, community observers, and other students, in a lecture format. They are judged on the quality of their work, as revealed by their written and oral presentations. 

Neuroscience Research Prize encourages high school students to explore the world of the brain and nervous system through laboratory research.

Otto P. Burgdorf Science Research Competition encourages students from grades 9 through 12 enter their research papers, in any area of science, in this annual competition.

Science Fairs:

High School Bridge Building Contest - High school students from Long Island submit their bridges to the ultimate pressure test, and compete to take part in a national contest! The construction and testing of model bridges promotes the study and application of principles of physics and also helps students develop "hands on" skills. Through participating, students get a flavor of what it is to be an engineer; designing structures to a set of specs and then seeing them perform their function.

The Bay Scallop Bowl  It’s a fun and exciting competition that exposes young students to the wonders of our water world and draws these energetic, bright minds to the vital fields of oceanography that are so important to society today.

Molloy College

Nassau County Community College

Nebula Division NYSSEF

Andromeda Division NYSSEF

Protein Modeling Competition Stony Brook