About the KSC
Year 4 of the Kids' Science Challenge is now closed for submissions. Winners will be announced on May 2. 2012
What is the Kids’ Science Challenge?
The Kids’ Science Challenge (KSC), the premiere elementary school science competition in the US, is a free, nationwide science competition for students in grades 3 through 6. The KSC is funded primarily by the National Science Foundation but also receives support from other foundations and corporations. The KSC engages kids to use their creativity to make connections and innovate on our current conceptions of how things work. By participating in the competition, engaging in KSC activities and following the experiences of the winners, all students learn more about the process of innovation and about how those curious "what if" questions are the foundation of scientific thinking.
How do I enter and how does the competition work?
Each year the KSC selects 3 science topics and a panel of expert scientists and engineers. The entry process is 3 easy steps:
STEP 1: Kids research the three topics.
STEP 2: Kids brainstorm their ideas, experiments or problems.
STEP 3: Kids submit their ideas or experiments for scientists to solve.
Students may enter in more than one science topic (Zero Waste, Animal Smarts, Meals on Mars), but must complete and submit a new application for each entry. There is a limit of one entry per topic for an individual or team.
What are the topics this year?
The Challenge: Can you invent a package that never ends up in a landfill?
The Challenge: Can you design a toy, game or experiment that enhances the life of a pet or zoo animal and demonstrates its particular intelligence?
MEALS ON MARS
The Challenge: Can you come up with a new way to preserve, cook, deliver or sustainably produce food in flight or on Mars?
What is the entry deadline?
The Kids’ Science Challenge was open for entries from October 1, 2011 thru February 29, 2012.
Do I need to complete a project?
No, you are not required to complete a project or build a prototype. The KSC entry form only requires a well thought-out written essay and an optional drawing.
Can I enter alone or do I need a team?
Students may enter as an individual or as a member of a team. Teams are limited to five members and may be formed in classrooms, after-school groups, or other community organizations. In case of a team entry, team members must work with a mentor to guide them through the team entry process.
How is the KSC judged?
The Kids’ Science Challenge panel of judges is looking for a creative and well thought-out idea demonstrating what the entrant has learned about one of the science topics. Judges will be looking for: originality, do-ability, quality of the presentation of idea and how well the idea relates to the topic challenge. The questions or idea should demonstrate the entrant’s grasp of the scientific principles associated with each topic. Judges also want to know how the entrant came up with his/her idea. We highly recommend including a drawing of the concept.
What are the prizes?
A grand prize is given to a winning student (or team) in each of the science topics. The grand prize winner for each topic will win a trip to visit and work with a scientist or engineer to test their winning idea in a lab, workshop or research setting. There are also many cool runner-up prizes; such as science kits, science equipment and cool science toys.
The first 1,000 entrants received a free Science Activity Kit with hands-on projects related to the three science topics
I have more questions or want more information on a topic mentioned above. Who do I contact?
Please review the site to find more detailed information on the competition, the sponsors, the entry process, awards and much, much more. If you have a specific question please email Kids’ Science Challenge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to enter. Where do I go now?
Start researching the 3 annual topics by clicking any of the three tabs at the top.
What else can I find on the Kids’ Science Challenge website?
- Lesson Plans
- Online games
- Fun activities
- Science Fair project ideas
- Science background on the three topics
- And much more!!
Kids’ Science Challenge is made possible by a generous grant from the National Science Foundation.