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Homeschooling in Maryland

Contests Open to Homeschoolers

Inspiration to Keep You Going

 


 

Be sure to check eligibility and rules for homeschool participation in each contest.

kid contests

Art Contests

  • American Academy of Pediatrics Art Contest
    The American Academy of Pediatrics holds an annual art contest for children to submit their artwork of a yearly theme. The best art from three age groups will be chosen and presented by the artist at the AAP National Conference. Cash awards are given to the best art and runner ups in each age category.
    Grade: 3rd - 12th grade
    Deadline: July 16th

  • Duct Tape Formalwear for Scholarship
    An annual contest in which contestants make prom outfits using duct tape and submit the pictures online to be judged for the best creation. The three best submissions will be awarded a scholarship award.
    Age: 14 or older
    Deadline: June 13th

  • IGES Art Contest
    The theme of this contest changes each year. It serves to support national science education efforts. Sponsored by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies Art Contest.
    Grade: 2nd-4th grade
    Deadline: November 1

  • IGES Earth Day Photo Contest
    In the theme of Earth Day, this annual contest is held to raise awareness of changes in local environments. The contest involves taking a picture of the ways local ecology has changed, accompanied by an essay discussing what is seen in the photograph. Sponsored by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies Art Contest
    Grade: 5th - 8th grade
    Deadline: May

  • IGES Thacher Scholars Contest
    This contests asks high school students to use modern technology such as aerial photography, GPS tracking technology, and satellite imaging to examine a problem with the earth's ecosystem. Contestants must submit a written project no more than 20 pages by the deadline. Sponsored by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies Art Contest.
    Grade: 9th - 12th
    Deadline: April, date to be decided

  • National Geographic International Photography Contest for kids
    Pictures must have been taken within the last 3 years. The photography categories for entries are: Animals, Scenery, People, and Humor.
    Age: 6 - 14
    Deadline: October 31st

  • Youth Wildlife Art Contest
    This annual contest asks contestants to submit art of a legally hunted animal from North America. There are prizes for the first, second, and third place submissions. Sponsored by the National Rifle Association. NRA membership is not required.
    Grade: 1st - 12th grade
    Deadline: November 1

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Computer Science Contests

  • High School Programming
    University of Maryland, College Park sponsors this contest where Maryland contestants participate in a three hour competition which will test their programming skills and problem solving abilities. Each high school is allowed to send one team of four contestants. Contest is held using Apple MacBooks, no mice are provided but may be brought by contestants.
    Grade: 9th - 12th grade (Must be enrolled in a high school)
    Deadline: Held annually, usually in March

  • Hack-A-Thon
    Generally these events are locally sponsored and last one-day or up to one week. The focus of an event is usually to create some usable software.
    Grade: Check with local sponsors
    Deadline: Varies

  • National Video Game Challenge
    Individuals or teams of up to 4 submit their original video game design.
    Grade: 5th - 12th
    Deadline: Submit entries between Feb - April

  • US Computing Olympiad
    Contests generally run for three to five continuous hours in length, although for maximum flexibility, you are free to schedule this block of time anywhere within a Friday-to-Monday contest weekend --- your timer starts when you log into the contest and download the problems. Contest tasks are presented on the web, and you submit your final solutions through a simple web interface. There are three competitive divisions; Bronze, Silver, and Gold, where contestants are ranked according to their skill level.
    Grade: Open to all participants
    Deadline: Six competitions held in the academic year

  • Student Desktop Publishing Contests
    A list of contests open to students using educational technology. Contests require computer generated content.
    Grade: K - 12th
    Deadline: Various deadlines.

  • ThinkQuest Web Design Contest
    This international competition challenges students to solve problems using technology. Students use a variety of technology to make an educational project about a world problem.
    Age: 19 and younger
    Deadline: TBD



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English/Language Arts Contests

  • Balticon Young Writers' Contest
    Sci-Fi and Fantasy writing contest for teens living in Maryland. In the contest year all contestants must reside in, or attend school in Maryland. The deadline for all submissions is March 31, in any given contest year.
    Age: 14-18
    Deadline: March 31st

  • Gaithersburg Short Story Contest
    Students write a 1,000 word creative short story that uses one of three starting lines. Entrants must be in high school and live in Maryland, DC, or Virginia.
    Grade: 9th-12th
    Deadline: February

  • Letters About Literature
    Students 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 children in grades 4 through 6; Level II for grades 7 and 8, and Level III, grades 9 - 12. See rules for specific age and grade stipulations.
    Grade: 4th-12th
    Deadline: December

  • National Shakespeare Competition
    Students read, analyze, perform and recite Shakespearean monologues and sonnets in three qualifying stages.
    Grade: 9th - 12th
    Deadline: Branch competitions are held in Jan-Feb. Nationals are in May.

  • National Youths Storytelling Showcase
    The National Youth Storytelling Showcase is a unique opportunity for kids of all ages to participate in storytelling at a local, regional, and national level.
    Age: 7-17
    Deadline: February

  • North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad
    Students solve linguistic puzzles, which emphasize the diversity and consistency of language and the use of logic skills. No prior linguistic knowledge or foreign language skills required.
    Grade: 6th - 12th
    Deadline: January

  • Scripps Howard Spelling Bee
    National competition of spelling ability. Competitors must be enrolled in a school that is enrolled to send contestants to the National Spelling Bee. Local competition must be sponsored by a local newspaper.
    Grade: 1st-8th
    Deadline:



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Foreign Language Contests

History/Social Studies Contests

  • Academic WorldQuest
    A competition played with 4-person teams who answer rounds of questions about current affairs, world leaders, geography, recent history, flags, international organizations, countries, regions, the world economy, culture, religion, and more.
    Grade: 9th-12th
    Deadline: April

  • Being An American
    Students write an essay about the Constitution. Must be enrolled in high school when they write the essay.
    Age: 13-19
    Deadline: December

  • Doors to Diplomacy
    The U. S. Department of State sponsors the "Doors to Diplomacy" educational challenge - to encourage middle school and high school students around the world to produce web projects that teach others about the importance of international affairs and diplomacy.
    Age: 12-19
    Deadline: March

  • First Freedom Essay Contest
    Entries must be in the form of an essay or a video that answers a yearly question about the freedoms in America and how they have been maintained in history.
    Grade: 9th-12th
    Deadline: December

  • If I Were Mayor
    Maryland 4th graders write a 275-word essay on what they would do if the were mayor.
    Grade: 4th
    Deadline: April 1st

  • History Bee
    Students test knowledge of a wide range of historical topics.
    Grade: Elementary and Middle school divisions
    Deadline: mid-January for Online Regional Qualifying Exam

  • History Bowl
    Students test knowledge of a wide range of historical topics.
    Grade: Middle and High school divisions
    Deadline: National championship held in late-April

  • History Day
    Contestants will choose a historical topic related to the annual theme, and then conduct primary and secondary research. They will look through libraries, archives and museums, conduct oral history interviews, and visit historic sites. After they have analyzed and interpreted their sources, and have drawn a conclusion about the significance of their topic, they will then be able to present their work in one of five ways: as a paper, an exhibit, a performance, a documentary, or a web site.
    Grade: 6th-12th
    Deadline: March (Regional) June (National)

  • The Churchill Centre Research Paper Competition
    The Churchill Centre in the United States seeks to reward and to publish exemplary high-school history research papers with a focus on Winston Churchill or his works. Authors should seek to examine an aspect of Churchill's life or works in the context of his times. Such an approach might necessarily include analysis of, for example: his colleagues, both friends and adversaries; important political questions and events, both domestic and international; diplomatic issues; economics; or his speeches and writing.
    Grade: 9th-12th
    Deadline: September 15th



  • Holocaust Remembrance Project
    A writing project of no more than 1,200 words in which they discuss Holocaust Remembrance and how the youth of today can prevent prejudice in society.
    Grade: 9th-12th
    Deadline: April

  • National Forensics Competition
    Individual event speaking and Lincoln-Douglas debate
    Grade:
    Deadline: April

  • Model Congress

  • Model United Nations

  • We the People
    A mock Congress competition
    Grade:
    Deadline: Nationals occur in April

  • Kennedy Profiles in Courage

  • National Peace Essay Contest
    An annual contest held by the United Institute for Peace, in which contestants submit essays on the topic of peacekeeping in the world. Annual topics change the specific focus of the essays.
    Grade: 9th-12th
    Deadline: February

  • Voice of Democracy
    Students create their essay and burn an audio version to a CD, which they can submit with the Voice of Democracy entry form to their local participating VFW Post.
    Grade: 9th-12th
    Deadline: November 1st
  • National Geography Bee
    The contest is designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject, and increase public awareness about geography.
    Grade: 4th-8th
    Deadline: January (School level)



  • Patriot's Pen
    This is an annual essay contests with themes of American history and patriotism. Essays must be between 300 and 400 words.
    Grade: 6th-8th
    Deadline: November

  • Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest
    The preliminary rounds of the contest are held by Chapters and/or State Societies of the Sons of the American Revolution to select one winner from each participating state. In regions (SAR Districts) where no State Society sponsors an entrant, an SAR District entry is permitted. Check for your local state deadline.
    Grade: 9th-12th
    Deadline: June

  • Stossel in the Classroom
    Students ages 13-18 write a short essay on a political topic. Essays must be between 500 and 1000 words, topics change annually.
    Age: 13-18
    Deadline: February

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Math Contests

Mythology and ClassicsContests

Other Contests

  • Kids Philosophy Slam
    Students are asked to write, create poetry, music or artwork regarding a philosophical question posed each year. Homeschoolers and special needs children are encouraged to enter.
    Grade: K-12th
    Deadline: February

  • Destination Imagination
    A Destination ImagiNation Challenge is an open-ended exercise that prompts students to use creativity and teamwork to solve a problem. Every season, teams of up to seven members focus on designing and creating solutions to challenges.
    Grades: K-12th
    Deadline: March

  • STEM Video Game Challenge
    Inspired by the Educate to Innovate Campaign, President Obama’s initiative to promote a renewed focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, the National STEM Video Game Challenge is a multi-year competition whose goal is to motivate interest in STEM learning among America’s youth by tapping into students’ natural passion for playing and making video games.
    Grades: 6th-12th
    Deadline: January



  • Knowledge Master Open Academic Hallmarks

    Teams in the Knowledge Master Open receive curriculum-based contest questions (200 at secondary levels; 100 at 5th & 6th grade levels) on a CD-ROM and compete using a computer at their own schools. The event is held twice each year for both secondary and 5th & 6th grade teams.
    Grade: 5th-12th
    Deadline: Winter and Spring

  • Davidson Fellows
    The Davidson Fellows Scholarship awards scholarships to extraordinary young people who have completed a significant piece of work. Application categories are Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, Philosophy and Outside the Box.
    Ages: 18 and younger
    Deadline: February

  • National Marbles Tournament
    This is a national marbles contest, open to contestants who have won a locally recognized marbles contest. Held in New Jersey.
    Ages: 7-15
    Deadline: June

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Science/Engineering Contests

  • Cybermission
    eCYBERMISSION is a web-based Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition free for students, where teams can compete for State, Regional and National Awards while working to solve problems in their community.
    Grade: 6th-9th
    Deadline: March 1st

  • The Dupont Challenge
    The Dupont Challenge calls on students to research, think critically, and write a science essay that provides innovative ideas on our most pressing global challenges, or demonstrates the application of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to our lives.
    Grade: 7th-12th
    Deadline: January 31st

  • Engineering Challenge - Maryland Only
    Sponsored by the Baltimore Museum of Industry, the Engineering Society of Baltimore, the Technology Education Association of Maryland and the TIME Center at the Community College of Baltimore County, students can compete in a variety of long term engineering problem solving contests such as building a maglev train.
    Grade: 1st-12th
    Deadline: January to April

  • Exploravision
    ExploraVision is a hands-on, minds-on project that simulates real research and development to inspire students and fuel imagination. Teams will explore a specific technology and create a project based on their chosen technology.
    Grade: K-12th
    Deadline: February

  • The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
    The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF)- the world's largest pre-college science competition-provides an opportunity for the best young scientists from around the globe to share ideas, showcase cutting-edge science projects, and compete for over $4 million in awards and scholarships.
    Grade: 9th-12th
    Deadline: May

  • NASA Engineering Design Challenge
    In this unique education initiative, students work collaboratively as engineers and scientists to solve real-world problems related to the James Webb Space Telescope. This work encourages students to explore and build skills essential for successful careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The RWIW Challenge runs during the academic year in two phases of project-based learning and team competition.
    Grade: 8th-12th
    Deadline: January 31st

  • International Young Eco-Hero Awards Program
    The International Young Eco-Hero Awards recognizes and rewards the successful individual environmental initiatives of young people.
    Age: 8-16
    Deadline: February

  • National Science Bowl
    The National Science Bowl is a highly competitive science education and academic event among teams of high school and middle school students who compete in a fast-paced verbal forum to solve technical problems and answer questions in all branches of science and math.
    Grade: 6th-12th
    Deadline: April

  • Optimus Prime Spin-Off Contest
    The contest is run by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Innovative Partnerships Office in Greenbelt, Md., and aims to raise student awareness of how NASA technologies provide benefits to the public.
    Grade: 3rd-12th
    Deadline: January

  • Team America Rocketry Contest
    Teams design, build and fly a model rocket that reaches a specific altitude and duration determined by a set of rules developed each year. The contest is designed to encourage students to study math and science and pursue careers in aerospace.
    Grade: 7th-12th
    Deadline: May

  • Young Naturalist Awards
    Students plan, conduct, and write an essay about a self-selected research question. Pre-college work can be submitted but only if the research was conducted independently.
    Grade: 7th-12th
    Deadline: March

  • Invent-It Challenge
    The Lemelson Center engages youth through its Spark!Lab, which shows the real story behind an inventor's work. It uses fun activities to help kids and families learn about the history and process of invention-from a creative idea to successful marketing. It holds annual contests.
    Age: 5-18
    Deadline: January

  • Physics Olympiad

  • Physics Bowl

  • Department of Energy Science Bowl

  • You Be the Chemist Challenge

  • Science Olympiad

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Sunday
August 20, 2017

 

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