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Contests

The listings here do not qualify as endorsements of any organization or program. 
They are passed on to you for your further evaluation and consideration. 


Philosophy:


The Kids Philosophy Slam is an annual program designed to make philosophy fun and accessible to all kids in grades K-12, as well as to help promote critical thinking skills and encourage dialogue with other students and adults. The Philosophy Slam asks kids to answer a philosophical question such as "What is the meaning of life?" Depending on their age, kids can express themselves in words, artwork, poetry or song. Each grade level has its own national winner, and the top four high school students debate the question at the national finals. The winner earns the title of "The Most Philosophical Student in America" Schools from across the country compete for the title of "The Most Philosophical School in America.."
There are prizes, but the site doesn’t say how much they are for individual winners ($3,000 in total prizes), and high school winners travel to a national competition for a debate. The deadline to enter is in early February. Any student from Kindergarten through 12th grade can enter, including special education students. There is a $25 registration fee for schools and a $2 registration fee per household for home school students.
For further information go to: http://www.philosophyslam.org/index.html


English:


Patriot's Pen and Voice of Democracy Competitions
The VFW sponsors these two contests for which the deadline for entries is November 1st.  The Patriot's Pen is for grades 6, 7, & 8, and is an essay contest.  Students must write a 300 - 400 word essay on this years theme.  Prizes are savings bonds from $1,000 to $10,000 in value.  The Voice of Democracy contest is for grades 9 - 12.  Students must record a 3 - 5 minute speech on this years theme.  The top prize is a $30,000 college scholarship, with other scholarships that range from $1,000 to $16,000 as well.  Top entrants receive a trip to Washington DC.  To get more details and download the entry form go to: http://www.vfw.org/index.cfm?fa=cmty.levelc&cid=1836


Letters About Literatur
e
at http://www.lettersaboutliterature.org/
READ. BE INSPIRED. WRITE BACK.
The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, in partnership with Target Stores and in cooperation with affiliate state centers for the book, invites readers in grades 4 through 12 to enter "Letters About Literature," a national reading-writing contest. To enter, readers write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre-- fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic, explaining how that author's work changed the student's way of thinking about the world or themselves.
There are three competition levels:
Level I, for students in grades 4 through 6
Level II, for grades 7 and 8
Level III, grades 9 - 12
Letters About Literature is an annual competition. Information on each year’s competition is uploaded to their website in spring, and the deadline is in early December.
Two national winners receive a $500 gift card to Target, and a $10,000 donation to the library of their choice - can be either a public library or a school library.  Twelve more students receive $50 gift cards and a $1,000 donation to their library of choice.  Winners have been featured in People magazine and appeared on CNN.


Kids Are Authors
at http://www.scholastic.com/bookfairs/contest/kaa_about.asp
An annual competition open to Grades K-8 and designed to encourage students to use their reading, writing, and artistic skills to create their own books.
Can an entry be submitted by one student?
No. Each entry must be submitted by a group of 3 or more students. This contest was designed to encourage students to work together as a team.
This is an annual contest, with entries due in mid-March.
Each Grand Prize winning team receives:
•$5,000 in merchandise from the Scholastic Book Fairs Instructional Resource Catalog to be awarded to the public/private school or non-profit organization of their choice
•The winning books in both Fiction and Non-fiction categories will be published by Scholastic and will be sold at Book Fairs throughout the country

•100 copies of their published book
Each winning student receives:
•Framed Award Certificate
•Gold Medallion



Art:

Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest

Artwork should highlight one or more land- and/or ocean-dwelling endangered species found in the United States.  Winners will be chosen in four categories: K-Grade 2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12. From these, one national winner will be selected. 
The grand prize winner will receive a round-trip flight to Washington, D.C. for him/herself and one guardian to attend a reception in May. Accommodations will also be provided..  In addition, the grand prize winner and the other three grade category winners will receive a gift certificate for art supplies. 
Entries must be postmarked by mid March. 
For details go to:  http://www.stopextinction.org/esd/194-esd-art.html


Doodle for Google

This is an art contest for K-12 students who must use their creative talent to redesign Google’s logo. The work must be done in pencil, crayon, felt tip, paint or by using computer drawing or design software. The theme is different each year and the registration deadline is in early March. The top prize is a $15,000 scholarship and $25,000 technology grant for their school. For more info and to get an entry form go to:             www.google.com/doodle4google/index.html



Math:

US Mathematical Talent Search
The USAMTS allows students a full month to work out their solutions.
Carefully written justifications are required for each problem. The problems range in difficulty from being within the reach of most high school students to challenging the best students in the nation.
The USAMTS is one of the ways to enter the process of selecting the USA Mathematical Olympiad team, which participates in the International Mathematical Olympiad. Participants who score well will be invited to participate in the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME), the second step in the process of selecting the USA Mathematical Olympiad team.
http://www.usamts.org/About/U_AbOverview.php



Science:

Volvo’s Annual Environmental Competition
Plan an environmental project for the late summer or fall with a team of 2 to 5 members ages 13 - 16 (at contest opening date of July 1st). Complete your project and submit it by the end of January. The top prizes include a trip to Sweden and $10,000.
Or in the younger division, with a team of 1 to 3 members ages 10 -12, create a cartoon strip and submit it. All the info is at: " target="_blank"><http://www.volvoadventure.org/home.aspx>


Thacher Environmental Research Contest
This contest is for high school students and entries are due in early April.
"The contest challenges high school students (grades 9-12) to conduct innovative research on our changing planet using the latest geospatial tools and data, which in recent years have become increasingly accessible to the public.  Eligible geospatial tools and data include satellite remote sensing, aerial photography, geographic information systems (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS). The main focus of the project must be on the application of the geospatial tool(s) or data to study a problem related to Earth's environment."

The best projects will receive cash awards in the amount of $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place. Entries can be submitted by individuals or teams.

Details are on their web site here: 
http://www.strategies.org/education/index.aspx?sub=education&sub2=scholars&sub3=scholars2011


Ocean for Life program
This is a summer field study at a national marine sanctuary.for which high school students may apply.  If accepted, all expenses are paid.  Applications are done online, and the deadline is early March.  Here is the link: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/education/ofl/app.html


Young Naturalist Awards
This research and essay competition is run by the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and includes in the prize a trip to their museum, behind the scenes tour, and the opportunity to meet their scientists.

The deadline for this competition for 7th - 12th graders is now March 8, 2011.  It was won last year by a Michigan homeschooler.  Here is a short article about her, with a link to her essay:  http://www.homeschoolbuilding.org/Item.php3?id=%279832%27

Here is some info from their web site:
“The theme of the Young Naturalist Awards is the same each year: "Scientific Discovery Begins with Curiosity!" Students choose a topic in biology, ecology, Earth science, or astronomy.”

“The Young Naturalist Awards program invites you to plan and conduct your own scientific investigation, one that will include observations, questions, predictions, trips into the field to gather data, and analysis. You are not expected to make a new scientific discovery. However, your investigation should provide you with a new understanding about your question. Tell us about your investigation in an essay that includes tables, charts, or graphs and artwork or photographs that help illustrate your findings.”

For full info go to their web site at:  http://www.amnh.org/nationalcenter/youngnaturalistawards/index.html


USA Science and Engineering Festival
This festival takes place in Washington DC and offers hundreds of hands-on science exhibits, workshops, and performances. More than 400 of the nations leading science, engineering, and academic organizations will participate in the festival and expo.
Leading up to the festival they sponsor student contests.  Check their web site to see what contests are happening this year.
http://www.usasciencefestival.org/


Young Scientist Challenge

“Do you have what it takes to be America’s Top Young Scientist? Discovery Education and 3M are looking for students in grades 5-8 who are enthusiastic about science. The top 10 students will receive an all-expense paid trip to the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minnesota and the grand prize winner will receive $25,000!” 
“Students will be challenged to create a one to two-minute video about a specific scientific concept which they will select from a list of concepts provided by YSC judges.”
The concept list for each year is posted at the end of January and video entries are due in mid April.. For more info and to enter go to: youngscientistchallenge.com/






Watch this page for more contest additions


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