Contests & Competitions for Elementary Students

We love us some healthy competition, and we know many kids out there are wired for it! Whether you enter individually or with a small group of peers, we hope you take advantage of our ever-growing contests and competitions for elementary students.

In addition to the links below, be sure to check out your local library, universities, museums, and businesses to add to options for your children locally. 


Please click on a link below to be redirected to a contest site. 

Academic Games: Challenging students to use higher order thinking skills in Language Arts, History, English, and Math, check this site to see if your state has member leagues. For children in fourth grade and up. 

American Computer Science League: Held yearly- four contests within the year, grades 3 and up of 3-5 person teams compete in a timed computer programming problem.

Betty AwardAges 8-12, students can submit to this bi-annual writing contest for cash prizes. 

Brock Eastman: "Write All About It!" This Kindergarten - grade 6 contest encourages kids to "Write Early, Write Often, and Write Well." 

Caribou Mathematics: A worldwide, online contest held six times during the year in grades 3-6 and up.

Creative Communication Poetry and Essay Contest: For grades K-9, Winning poems and high quality submissions are published in a hard bound anthology. There is no fee and no required purchase when published. 

C-SPAN's Student Cam: For the top grade of our following (grades 6-12) this is an annual video documentary competition where students create a short video on a topic related to a specific theme. 

CyberFair: A project based learning contest for youth, students ages 8-18 research and publish their findings using digital media. 

Dandelion Press: All ages, including young writers under the age of 18, respond to a photograph with an original writing piece: "What's the story of this photograph?"

Discovery Education Young Scientist Challenge: This annual contest is meant to inspire all students in grades 5-8. Students submit a 1-2 minute video describing a unique solution to an everyday problem. Do not miss this challenge; there is a large cash prize, top finalists, and more.

Doodle 4 Google: Students in grades K-3 and 4-5 create a doodle with the world Google and are judged on artistic skill, creativity, and theme communication in their work and written statement. 

eCyber Mission: For grade 6 and up, this competition is team based in math and technology to compete for awards while solving community problems. 

EngineerGirl: Engineer Girl has an annual essay contest around the idea of engineering and its impact in our world. This site also shares further related contests and competitions

ExploraVision: teams of Primary (K-3) and Intermediate (K-6) students create a project to communicate and describe what technology will look like 20 years in the future.

FIRST Lego League Jr: Teams of students in grades K-4 design and build a challenge-related model using LEGO components. To get involved and register a team, click here. Students in grades 4-8 participate in First Lego League, and are required to build, design, and auto program LEGO Mindstorms to perform a mission on a playing field. 

Fluor Engineering Challenge: Each year, students in grades K-12 can participate in this challenge and submit their entries for prizes from the creators of 

Global Cardboard ChallengeLaunched after Caine's Arcade became an internet sensation, this website about a creative thinking challenge using cardboard links you to local cardboard challenges. 

Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes: This annual honor is awarded to 25 young leaders ages 8-18 who are making a positive impact on people, their community, or the environment. 

Guardian Angel Kids: Students can submit writing based on a monthly theme; winners can be published in their online magazine. For ages 2-12. 

History Bee: Sign up a classroom or school to participate! All materials, including study guides, are available on the site. 

Imagine the Future Youth Video Challenge: Students ages 11  and up can create a 3-5 minute video developing an imaginative solution to a real world problem that exists today. 

Kids Philosophy Slam: Kindergarten - grade 12 students can create and submit writing, poetry, or artwork regarding a philosophical question posed each year.  

Letters About Literature: Students in grades 4 and up must write an essay in the form of a letter describing how a book or author has had an effect on their life. Letters are judged on the state and national level. 

Math Bee: A local, state, and national competition for students in grades 1-6 to compete using their math skills.

Math Counts: Grades 6-8, this national math coaching and competition program promotes live competition in problem solving. 

Math Kangaroo: Math Kangaroo is an annual international competition for students in grades 1-12. Registration is simple and student can test at test center or a school can register to host. 

Math League Contests: Schools can easily register for Math League on the site and view contest rules, view sample contests, purchase contest books, and more. 

Mathematical Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools (MOEMS): Grades 4-8, teams participate in five monthly contests from November-March. 

Mensa Excellence in Reading: This competition encourages young readers to complete a reading list based on grade range (K-3, 4-5...). Record the date the book was read and rate it; return the booklist in its original form to Mensa for a certificate and tee shirt! Mensa, an organization for gifted children and adults, also shares a contest page on their site. 

Mrs. P’s Be a Famous Writer: For students in Kindergarten - 4th grade, students write 250-1,000 words related to the year's contest theme. 

NaNoWriMo's Young Writers Program: Each November, the challenge is to complete an entire writing an individual novel in 30 days. Ages 17 and under. 

NASA Student Competitions: Various competitions are outlined on NASA's site, which has been updated to outline some unique options for students. 

Nat Geo Kids Competitions: This free site for all ages offers exciting new competitions each month, including an international photography contest. 

National Geographic Bee: For students in grades 4-8, schools and homeschooled students can participate in this challenge to compete locally, regionally, and nationally to test their geography knowledge. 

National History Bee: Participating students progress from the school level to the regional and national levels until one student is crowned champion. For students in grades 5-8. 

National Number Knockout Math: Students ages 10-14 compete in mathematics for money! The site's goal is to "knockout innumeracy."

National Science Olympiad: Grades 3-6 can compete in this competition that promotes a healthy love of science, technology, engineering, and math. Click on Your State to learn more about specific details of the competition.

Neuroscience Kids Poetry ContestDetails for this poetry contest are outlined on their home page; students in grades K-2 and 3-5 can mail in poetry and compete for various prizes!

Noetic Learning Mathematics Contest: For students in grades 2-8, teachers and schools can host their own semi-annual competition for a class, school or community.

Odyssey of the Mind: Teams of students in elementary grades and up compete in creative problem solving challenges. 

Perennial Math: Students in grades 2-12 can participate in this math challenge online, on site, or in a virtual WebEx format. 

PBS Kids Go! Writer’s Contest: Students in Kindergarten - grade 3 can read stories by other students, find supporting writing materials, and submit their own writing for the contest. 

Robofest: Students in grades 4-12 build autonomous robots and participate in games, battles, and other local, regional, and world competitions.

Rube Goldberg Machine Contest: A DIY event, there is a fee to use the materials on the site based on the number of participants. Adaptable for many ages/grade levels. 

Scholastic’s Kids are Authors: This annual competition is for students in grades K - 8 and encourages students to work in teams of three or more to write and illustrate their own book. 

Scholastic Kids Games & Contests: Multiple contests for writing picture books, fiction and non-fiction work, art, and more are outlined on this site. 

Scripps-Howard Spelling Bee: This site makes it easy to enroll your school online, learn about the famous Bee, access questions, test your spelling IQ, and print resources. 

Skipping Stones: For ages 7-17, this multicultural literary magazine accepts prose and poetry from aspiring young writers. Awards are given to various levels of winners, including publication. 

Stone SoupStories, poems, and art can be easily submitted online to be published in Stone Soup's magazine. Submissions will hear a yes or no in 6-8 weeks. Young writers and artists can submit multiple times, and many do!

Sumdog: Sumdog's site includes free online math contests to compete against other classes, students or schools locally or nationally. 

Time for Kids Kid Reporter Contest: Ages 14 and younger, students can enter to be a part of reporting local and regional news for Time for Kids Online. 

Toshiba / NSTA ExploraVision AwardsPromoted to engage Kindergarten - grade 12 students in real world problem solving, this competition encourages K-3 and 4-6 grade students to research and explore future technologies and breakthroughs. The site clearly outlines project goals and steps for teachers.

USA Academic Bowl: Easy to register online, this site details the national Science Bee, Humanities Bee, Geography Bee, and US Geography Olympiad. Each Bee includes an Elementary division. 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's President’s Environmental Youth Award: This is an  initiative encouraging youth developed projects with regional and national winners in K-5 and 6-12. Projects criteria includes completion of goals, environmental impact, community involvement, project creativity, and project approach. Full evaluation criteria is outlined on the site. 

Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Sponsored by the National History Museum, the "young competition" has entries for 10 and under and ages 11-14. 

WordMasters Challenge: For grades 3-8, WordMasters is a vocabulary competition based on completing analogies three times a year.

You Be the Chemist: Grades 5-8, students explore chemistry topics, theories, and lab safety to compete on local, state, and national levels.