Contests for Students

A brief description follows each entry. Please click any of the blue links below for further information, including guidelines and deadlines.

Ag Day Essay Contest
Essay and video contest open to HS students, based on “How Will Agriculture Feed the World?” Due Jan. 31.

American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Law Day Art Contest; prizes of $250-$750
The ABA recently announced the theme for Law Day 2018, which is “Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom.” See link for full details. Due March 31.

American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) National High School Essay Contest
For students in grades 9-12. See link for essay details. Due March 15.

American Legion Americanism
The American Legion sponsors a variety of contests for students. Click link for more details and deadlines.

American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) DNA Day Essay contest; multiple prizes
Open to students in grades 9-12 worldwide and asks students to examine, question, and reflect on important concepts in genetics. Due March 9.

Association for Women in Mathematics Essay Contest
Open to grades 6-8 and 9-12; student may be male or female but must interview a woman working in a math career for 500-1000 word essay. Due Jan. 31.

Bill of Rights Institute "We The Students" Essay Contest
Open to grades 8-12. This year's topic: To what extent in the U.S. does the government—federal, state, or local—have the duty to monitor Internet content? Due Feb. 5. Prizes range from $500 to $5,000.

Brower Youth Awards

Earth Island Institute established The Brower Youth Award for Environmental Leadership in 2000 to honor renowned environmental advocate David Brower and recognize outstanding leadership efforts of young people who are working for the protection of our shared planet. Youth environmental change leaders ages 13 to 22 are encouraged to apply. Deadline is May 20.

Recipients will receive a $3,000 cash prize, a professionally produced short film about their work from an Emmy award winning film crew, and flight and lodging accommodations for a week long trip to the San Francisco Bay Area. During their stay, the recipients will participate in a coaching, visioning, leadership activities, speaking and media engagements. We invest in their continued success by providing ongoing access to resources, mentors, and opportunities to develop leadership skills. The week culminates in the awards ceremony October 16, 2018.

Christophers 28th Annual Poster Contest for High School Students
Prizes of $100 to $1,000 for creating a poster interpreting the theme "One Person Can Make a Difference." Due Feb. 19.

Cybersecurity Awareness Kids Safe Online Poster Contest
Sponsored by Ohio DAS Office of Information Technology. Open to K-12 students. Due Jan. 12. (NOTE: this link looks like it is an old page, but if you click on the official rules, it refers to a January 2019 deadline).

Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science International Science and Essay Contest
Open to grades 9-12. 1500-2000 word essay on assigned topic. Due Oct. 5.

Day of Design
The first national movement created to teach kids how to use Design Thinking to solve STEM-oriented problems that face the new wave of 21st Century manufacturers. Event held Oct. 6.

Doodle4Google Competition
Create a doodle describing "What I see for the future." Must incorporate the letters G-o-o-g-l-e. Due Dec. 2.

Drive Smart Digital Contest (opens Oct. 16)
Create a 30–60 second digital short to persuade peers to not drive distracted, and earn a chance to win $10,000!

EngineerGirl Writing Contest: Engineering for Your Community; prizes of $100 to $500.
Essay contest for students in grades 3-12. See site for full details. Due Feb. 1.

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) Free Speech Essay Contest

Open to juniors and seniors in U.S. high schools. View the website resources and explain in 800-1000 words why free speech is so important to higher education, and why censorship undermines the ideals of liberal education and a free society.One $10,000 first prize, one $5,000 second prize, and three $1,000 runner-up prizes will be awarded; four $500 winners will be chosen from the remaining entrants in a drawing. Due Dec. 31.

Future City Competition
Future City starts with a question—how can we make the world a better place? To answer it, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future that showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue.

George Montgomery NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest
This contest encourages youth (grades 1-12) to nurture their interest for the visual arts, hunting, and wildlife conservation. It also reinforces the positive effects of hunting and wildlife conservation. Deadline Oct. 31.

Hazing Prevention High School Essay Contest
Opens in January and due by April 30. Prizes of $50-$500.

John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage Essay Contest
Open to students in grades 9-12. 700-1000 word essay demonstrating an understanding of political courage. Due Jan. 4.

Letters About Literature (prizes $200 to $1,000)
Reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12. Students are asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to the author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. Due Jan. 12.

Make College Happen Challenge
Creatively explain how you plan to pay for college via poem, video, essay, photo, or song. Win up to $15,000!

Marietta College Junior PioPitch

In an effort to encourage and inspire the entrepreneurial mindset from a young age, this special session of PioPitch offers middle- and high-school students the opportunity to present ideas and receive real-time feedback. PioPitch runs from 4:00-5:00 p.m., Thursday, April 19th, in the Timothy O. Cooper Auditorium in Thomas Hall. Must register before April 5, 2018.

  • Any high school student in the Mid- Ohio Valley may compete alone or as a member of a 2 person team. Both team members must be high school students.
  • Maximum of two teams may compete from each school.
  • Any ideas that could potentially lead to the creation of a for-profit business or a social enterprise qualify for participation.
  • Each student or team of 2 students has up to 3 minutes to make a presentation, followed by up to 3 minutes Q&A with the judges.

  • First Place: Three free Marietta College 3-credit hour courses valued at $4,275.00 plus $200.00 in cash; Second Place: Two free Marietta College 3-credit hour courses valued at $2,850.00 plus $150.00 in cash; Third Place: One free Marietta College 3-credit hour course valued at $1,425.00 plus $50.00 in cash.

NASA Education Competitions
Programs sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Click link for more details.

NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund Essay Contest
Open to students in all grades. Prizes of $100 to $1,000 for essay based on "What does the Second Amendment Mean to You?" Due Dec. 31.

National Center for State Courts 2018 Civics Eduation Essay Contest

In recognition of Law Day, the NCSC is sponsoring a contest based on, "Why did our Founding Fathers create three branches of government?" Entries will be divided into three groups: 3rd-5th graders, 6th-8th graders and 9th-12th graders. Click link for full details. Due Feb. 23.

National WWII Museum Essay Contest
Middle & high school students invited to submit thoughts on what the United States' role as the ‘Arsenal of Democracy' should be today. 1,000 word max; due Dec. 29.

NEW G2 Overachievers Student Grant
Open to students age 13-19. Submit 1,000-1,500 handwritten words expressing how you benefit others. Due Dec. 31.

Ohio Arts Council "Poetry Out Loud" Contests
Students memorize and recite from the POL anthology; can complete at school, regional and state level.

Ohio History Contests for grades 4-12
The Ohio History Connection, formerly the Ohio Historical Society, is a statewide history organization with the mission to spark discovery of Ohio's stories.

Optimist International Essay Contest
For teens under age 18 as of Oct. 1. Essay titled, "Can Society Function Without Respect?" Due Feb. 28.

SBO Essay $1,000 Scholarship

Win your share of $20,000 including matching music products for your school music program!

Ten $1,000 scholarships awarded in two categories:

  • Five $1,000 scholarships grades four to eight
  • Five $1,000 scholarships grades nine to twelve

Answer this essay question (in 250 words or less): What role has your music program played in bringing you closer to your school mates, friends and the community at large Due Dec. 31.

Sons of American Revolution Knight Essay Contest

The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) invites all high school students (9th-12th grades) interested in the American Revolution to participate in the George S. & Stella M. Knight Essay Contest. Submit an original 800- to 1,200-word essay based on an event, person, philosophy or ideal associated with the American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, or the framing of the United States Constitution. Essay judged based upon historical accuracy, clarity, organization, grammar and spelling, and documentation. The contest is conducted in three phases: the local chapter, state-level society, and national phases. The contest must be entered through an SAR chapter near the student's residence. In some cases, the contest may be entered at the state level (if the local society does not have chapters or the chapters are not participating) and a contact-at-large should be used to find out more contest details.

Stossel in the Classroom Essay Contest

Submit 500-1,000 word essay about price gouging during natural disasters. Prizes range from $50 to $1,500 and a trip to New York! Open to students aged 12-18. Due Feb. 16.

Take Action Video Contest
Sponsored by the Ohio Attorney General's Office. Up to $2,500 in scholarships awarded.

United States Institute of Peace

In a 1,000-1,250-word essay, identify two cases—one you deem successful and one you deem unsuccessful—where the U.S. pursued an integrated approach to build peace in a conflict-affected country. Open to grades 9-12; $2,500 prize. Due March 15. See site for full rules and details.

VFW Voice of Democracy and Patriot's Pen
Students compete by writing and recording an audio essay on an annual patriotic theme. Due Oct. 31.

Writers of the Future Illustrator of the Future Contest

L. Ron Hubbard's Illustrators of the Future Contest is an opportunity for new science fiction and fantasy artists. No entry fee is required and entrants retain all publication rights. Entries judged by professional artists. Three prizes of $500 (a total of $1,500) are awarded each quarter. From the twelve quarterly winners each year the judges select a grand prize winner to receive the L. Ron Hubbard Golden Brush Award and additional $5,000. The Contest has four quarters, beginning on October 1, January 1, April 1 and July 1.

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