We hope that NOVA Labs has given you a glimpse of the immense and exciting world of scientific research and engineering design. To continue exploring, or to try your hand at science competitions and other endeavors, check out the opportunities below.

    • Competitions

    • FIRST Tech Challenge

      Location: National | Deadline: Spring

      In this competition, students and their coaches or mentors build robots based on sound engineering principles and design them to battle robots built by other competitors. A kit is provided for those who want to use one. Competitions are held around the country, and awards are given based on robot design, performance, community outreach, and other accomplishments. The winners of these competitions proceed to the competition's World Championship.


    • Google Science Fair

      Location: National | Deadline: Spring

      The Google Science Fair is an online science competition seeking curious minds from around the world. Anyone between the ages of 13 and 18 can enter—all you need is an idea. We welcome mavericks, square-pegs, and anyone who likes to ask questions. After all, geniuses aren't always the best classroom students. Simply upload your project here to enter for a chance to win. Everyone has a question. What's yours?


    • Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

      Location: National | Deadline: N/A

      The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of the Society for Science and the Public, is the world's largest precollege science fair competition. Each year, more than 7 million high school students from around the world compete in local science fairs with the dream of reaching Intel ISEF. Only 1,500 young innovators become finalists and are invited to attend the event to share ideas, showcase cutting-edge research, and compete for over $4 million in awards and scholarships. More than 1,000 science, engineering, and industry professionals volunteer at Intel ISEF to judge the student projects and award prizes.


    • Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS) Program

      Location: National | Deadline: Winter

      The JSHS program is designed to challenge and engage students (grades 9-12) in science, technology, engineering, and 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. Opportunities for hands-on workshops, panel discussions, career exploration, visits to research labs, and networking are part of the program.


    • MIT THINK Scholars Program

      Location: National | Deadline: Winter

      The MIT THINK Scholars Program is an educational outreach program and competition that promotes STEM by supporting and funding exceptional projects developed by high school students. Since 2006, MIT’s THINK Scholars Program has provided high school students around the nation with an opportunity to showcase an innovative scientific project. THINK has funded projects ranging from low-cost computing for developing schools in Georgia to 3-D solar cells. Students learn how to execute a technical project from start to finish and gain valuable field expertise, soft skills, and confidence for future projects.


    • National Youth Cyber Defense Competition

      Location: National | Deadline: Fall

      The National Youth Cyber Defense Competition is a tournament-structured event where teams of two to five students work to identify and secure known security vulnerabilities on “virtual image” representations of operating systems. Team progress is recorded by a central CyberPatriot scoring system, and at the end of a series of online qualification rounds, the top teams earn all-expenses-paid trips to the in-person National Finals Competition in Washington, DC. There, teams compete face-to-face to defend virtual networks from a professional aggressor team, where they must manage 8 to 12 virtual machines. Teams get their score by reducing the known vulnerabilities of the network, maintaining critical services (email, web server, etc.), and by defending the network from attack. Winning teams at the National Finals Competition receive education grants.


    • Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology

      Location: National | Deadline: Fall

      The Siemens Competition seeks to promote excellence by encouraging students to undertake research projects. It fosters intensive research that improves students' understanding of the value of scientific study and informs their consideration of future careers in these disciplines. You can compete as an individual or as a member of a team. Individual projects promote independent research. Team projects foster collaborative research efforts as well as individual contributions to the cooperative endeavor.


    • TEAMS (Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics and Science)

      Location: National | Deadline: Fall

      TEAMS is an annual competition for middle and high school students designed to help them discover their potential for engineering. During this one-day competition, students apply math and science knowledge in practical, creative ways to solve real-world engineering challenges.


    • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Science Bowl

      Location: National | Deadline: Spring

      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. Competing teams from diverse backgrounds are made up of four students, one alternate, and a teacher who serves as an advisor and coach.


    • Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Science Competition

      Location: National | Deadline: Winter

      ExploraVision is a science competition that allows students to research a current technology and predict how it might evolve in 20 years. Led by a teacher sponsor, teams of two to four students describe the development steps, the pros and cons of the technology, and any obstacles they see in future development. The competition is open to public, private, or homeschooled K–12 students in the United States and Canada of all interest and ability levels. Connected to the NGSS, students will fully engage in scientific and engineering processes that relate to solving real-world problems.


    • Verizon Innovative App Challenge

      Location: National | Deadline: Fall

      The Verizon Innovative App Challenge is a collaborative competition where teams of five to seven students develop an original concept for a mobile app that incorporates STEM principles and addresses a need or problem in their community. While designing their apps, students consider marketplace need, usefulness, audience, and viability and align their app concept with one of the three Verizon Foundation focus areas of education, healthcare, or sustainability. The Challenge offers $20,000 grants for winning middle schools and high schools and Samsung Galaxy Tabs for students on the winning teams.


    • Field Experience

    • BirdSleuth Action Map

      Location: Online | Deadline: Rolling

      Sometimes the conservation challenges facing our planet can seem overwhelming. With the BirdSleuth Action Map, we want to inspire young people to take positive conservation actions—even small ones—and share them. Projects might improve habitat through tree-planting, putting up bird feeders and baths, building bird boxes, or raising awareness among family and friends through educational campaigns or community events. By engaging students in local environmental stewardship efforts, and explicitly teaching them about the importance of their actions, young people can see themselves as part of a positive force that is working to ensure healthy ecosystems for birds and other species now and into the future. Find inspiration from other submissions, share your action, and see how our actions add up!


    • Citizen Science Bird Quest

      Location: Online | Deadline: Rolling

      Challenges to Connect Kids to Citizen Science Through Birds! Are you ready to take your crew of kids out on an adventure that could kick-start them into a life-long interest of citizen science contributions? We have crafted this booklet to see if your group can complete all six challenges. The booklet is self-explanatory and will walk you through each challenge. All you need to do is download it, print it out, gather your group, and go!



      Location: Online | Deadline: Rolling

      The NASA DEVELOP National Program encourages students and young professionals to lead research projects that focus on utilizing NASA Earth observations to address community concerns and public policy issues. Participants are given the opportunity to improve their communication, presentation, research, collaboration, technical, and networking skills.


    • NASA Career Exploration Project

      Location: Texas | Deadline: Rolling

      The NASA Career Exploration Project gives students an opportunity to work at the Johnson Space Center during their senior year of high school, and then in the summer after high school. Students work under a mentor in the labs, learning technical and business skills. Students in a high school cooperative education program can apply through their Career and Technology Education teacher.


    • Science and Engineering Apprentice Program

      Location: District of Columbia | Deadline: Winter

      SEAP is an eight-week internship. It places students with experienced scientists and engineers in Army Research Laboratories. Students work on projects benefiting the Army and the community. This gives students firsthand experience with research as well as a potential career in the Army. At the end of the program, students present their research at a seminar.


    • SciVids101

      Location: Massachusetts | Deadline: Rolling

      SciVids101 is a two-hour field trip to the MIT campus for middle and high school students; there, they see science demonstrations and receive a crash course in making science videos. Students have the opportunity to write, direct, host, and produce these videos, which are eventually posted on the MIT+K12 Videos YouTube channel. We tailor these sessions (which include a tour of MIT) to the interests of our visitors. Email mitk12videos@mit.edu for more information.


    • Student Internships in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

      Location: District of Columbia | Deadline: Rolling

      The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy offers exciting student volunteer internships throughout the year in its Washington, D.C., headquarters. These volunteer internships provide opportunities for students to learn through direct experience in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy. In addition, some colleges and universities give academic credit for federal government internships—and an internship with the government can sometimes be the starting point for a full-time paid position after graduation.


    • The Department of Energy’s Scholars Program

      Location: National | Deadline: Winter

      The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Scholars Program introduces students or recent college graduates to the DOE’s mission and operations. As a participant in the Scholars Program, you will gain a competitive edge by familiarizing yourself with the department's functions, while showcasing your education, talent, and skills.


    • Online

    • Build It Solar

      Location: Online | Deadline: N/A

      This site offers plans, tools, and information to help you build renewable energy and conservation projects.


    • Code Academy

      Location: Online | Deadline: N/A

      Code Academy offers free, interactive courses for learning how to code. Learn everything from HTML to PHP and demonstrate your mastery of these coding languages by building websites and manipulating data in servers.


    • Code.org

      Location: National | Deadline: N/A

      Code.org is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. Code.org offers numerous tutorials through which students can learn everything from basic computer science concepts to how to make an iPhone game. Get started with the Hour of Code challenge!


    • Design Squad Nation

      Location: National | Deadline: N/A

      The DESIGN SQUAD NATION Web site brings creative ideas to life—dream it, build it, live it. Through the website’s projects gallery, you can brainstorm new ideas, submit your own project, and respond to those of others, all the while earning points for your contributions. The games FIDGIT and STRING THING combine both creativity and puzzle-solving online. And a huge library of videos show teams working together to tackle an array of engineering projects, including a pedal-powered bike organ, a water-saving toilet, and a human-powered flying machine.


    • GLOBE: Student Zone

      Location: Online | Deadline: N/A

      The GLOBE Program encourages you to use GLOBE data to help answer questions about how the environment around you works. Through research projects, you can answer your own science questions by creating hypotheses, analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and sharing your results. Scientific projects that you conduct and that include the use of GLOBE data or protocols can be submitted by your teacher for publication on this GLOBE website. By sharing your findings with the rest of the world, you are completing the scientific process.


    • Learning About Renewable Energy

      Location: Online | Deadline: N/A

      These educational resources from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory can help you learn more about the renewable energy sources and technologies that interest you most. From elementary school science mentoring to senior-level research participant programs, NREL's educational opportunities help provide the link to a clean energy future.


    • MIT OpenCourseWare: Highlights for High School

      Location: Online | Deadline: N/A

      Highlights for High School is your guide to courses from MIT, selected specifically to help you prepare for AP exams. Learn more about the concepts and skills that excite you and explore some of the topics you'll be studying in college.


    • National Center for Science Education Webinars

      Location: National | Deadline: Rolling

      NCSE conducts monthly webinars (interactive online trainings) and then archives them for later viewing. These trainings cover a range of topics, from media skills, lobbying, and advocacy using social media, to building a local or statewide group of "citizens for science," to recruiting new members and moving them into leadership positions.


    • S'COOL: Student's Cloud Observations On-Line

      Location: National | Deadline: N/A

      The S'COOL Project involves students (ages 5–20+) in real science, making and reporting ground truth observations of clouds to assist in the validation of NASA's CERES satellite instruments. Participants 1) obtain satellite overpass schedules, 2) observe and report clouds within +/-15 minutes of the satellite's passage, and 3) compare and classify the agreement between the ground and satellite views.


    • Scientific American: Cititzen Science

      Location: Online | Deadline:

      Scientific American has gathered an extensive list of citizen science projects and activities in which anyone can participate. Categories include: energy and sustainability, evolution, health, mind and brain, space, technology, and more!


    • SciStarter

      Location: National | Deadline: Rolling

      The SciStarter website helps you search for, take part in, and contribute to science through recreational activities and research projects. SciStarter’s already large database of science projects is continually growing. Projects range from collecting trash that washes up on the beach to helping scientists understand the effects of light pollution with your smartphone.


    • STEM Collaborative

      Location: Online | Deadline:

      Targeting middle school students, these interactive online learning activities use digital media, virtual environments, simulations, and videos to apply math to real-life applications. Designed to actively engage students, the activities integrate math, science, critical thinking, and reasoning skills in a fun way.


    • Student Guide to Climate Change

      Location: National | Deadline: N/A

      The Environmental Protection Agency developed A Student's Guide to Global Climate Change to help provide students with clear, accurate information about the causes and effects of climate change—as well as the steps we can all take to help solve the problem. Check out this site for information about climate change and ways to make a difference.


    • The Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE)

      Location: Online | Deadline:

      CIESE sponsors and designs interdisciplinary collaborative, engineering, and real-time data projects that students and teachers can use to dive deeper into science and connect learning with real-world events.


    • Summer Programs

    • Channeling Atmospheric Research into Educational Experiences Reaching Students (CAREERS) Camp

      Location: National | Deadline: Winter

      The CAREERS Summer Weather Camp provides broad exposure and training for middle school and high school students in weather forecasting, environmental modeling, and measurements.


    • CODE2040 Fellows Program

      Location: National | Deadline: N/A

      CODE2040 brings high-performing black and Latino/a students together for a life-changing summer fellowship. The summer consists of a software development internship with a top tech company, individual mentoring, a speaker series, workshops, coaching, and more. Meet executives at tech powerhouses like Google and Facebook, pick the brains of partners at top venture firms, and be mentored by founders and senior engineers, all while pushing code at a top Silicon Valley company.


    • Engineering Innovation

      Location: National | Deadline: Spring

      Through Engineering Innovation, high school students apply their knowledge of math and science to labs and other hands-on projects. It's a great opportunity to link classroom concepts to real-world practice and to begin to think and work like an engineer.


    • G4C Arcade at Cities of Learning

      Location: National | Deadline: N/A

      As part of the nationwide Cities of Learning initiative and following on the first G4C Public Arcade at the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair, Games for Change has brought together an online arcade of award-winning games to encourage youth to play on- and offline this summer. Once players finish the arcade games, they can unplug and take the experience offscreen by completing real-world activities and earn digital badges as proof of their achievements. For example, after tackling poverty in SPENT, they can go the extra mile and do something to help the homeless in their own community. Or after deciding innocence or guilt in We the Jury’s mock trials, they can research the real deal by interviewing a real-life jury pool—family or friends.


    • GenCyber

      Location: National | Deadline: Rolling

      The GenCyber program provides summer cybersecurity camp experiences for students and teachers at the K-12 level. The goals of the program are to help all students understand correct and safe on-line behavior, increase diversity and interest in cybersecurity and careers in the cybersecurity workforce of the nation, and improve teaching methods for delivering cybersecurity content in K-12 computer science curricula.


    • JPL Summer High School Internship Program

      Location: National | Deadline: N/A

      The Jet Propulsion Laboratory Summer High School Internship Program (JPL SpaceSHIP) is an eight-week internship designed for high school students, 16 or older, who have demonstrated a strong interest in, and aptitude for, science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). One of JPL SpaceSHIP's objectives is to encourage precollege students who have been traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields to consider these careers. Students participating in JPL SpaceSHIP can conduct introductory research, work in a technical environment, and expand their computer skills under the guidance of NASA's science, engineering, and technical professionals.


    • National Space Club Scholars Program

      Location: Virginia | Deadline: Spring

      Students work with professionals either at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center or at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility for six weeks. Students will gain experience in research and in the operations needed to support NASA’s missions. Areas of interest include Earth and space systems science, computer science, and engineering. The research focuses on computer applications and will give students an understanding of NASA’s operations.


    • National Youth Science Camp

      Location: Online | Deadline: Winter

      The National Youth Science Camp (NYSC) is a residential science education program for students around the country. It provides a wide variety of outdoor adventures and hands-on experiences to give students a true appreciation for the outdoors. The goal of this program is to foster youth interest in science through informal science education programs, with an emphasis on positive interactions between students and the environment.


    • Penn State University: Science U Camps

      Location: Online | Deadline:

      Penn State University offers a wide range of science camp opportunities for students of all ages and interests.