The National Geographic GeoChallenge empowers young people to learn about issues in their community, engage in critical thinking to identify innovative solutions and take action as champions for the planet. The annual contest will relaunch in fall 2021 with a new challenge and a new set of rules and prizes.
The Future City design contest used to be reserved for school teams, but the competition relaxed its requirements during the pandemic. Starting in fall, middle school students (in grades 6–8) imagine, research, design and build cities of the future that showcase their solution to an annual sustainability theme. Regional teams win prizes such as telescopes, and when travel is safe, a trip to compete at the national competition in Washington, D.C.
This rolling recipe contest rewards kids’ original recipes. Using the online entry form, kids submit their recipe with cooking instructions and a photo of their own preparation of the food. Cookbook prizes are awarded regularly.
The Young Inventor Challenge for kids ages 6–18 challenges entrants to develop and pitch their game and toy designs. The official prize is $250 worth of toys and games, but sometimes winning designs are even licensed and manufactured for sale. The contest takes place in fall, usually with an October registration deadline and a November deadline for submissions.
The district-specific Congressional App Challenge sponsored by the House of Representatives calls for middle and high school students to submit their apps developed in the past year. Winners receive public recognition, and prizes may be available from year to year.
To address the gender gap in gaming, Google Play, Girls Make Games and ESA Foundation hold the Change the Game Design Challenge. The program challenges teens (who need not be female) to design an inclusive game they’d like to play for the chance to win a $10,000 college scholarship and $15,000 for their school’s or community center’s technology program.