December 6th: Abstracts due

December 6th- December 13th: Crowd discuss of abstracts

December 20th: Submit revised abstracts

December 27th: Announcement of project ideas

December 27th- March 6th: Work on your Round 2 project

March 6th: Submission deadline for Round 2 project

March 16th- March 24th: Crowd discuss

March 25th: Winners announced!


 $4,000 1st Prize

  $2,500 2nd Prize

  $500 Crowd vote 

  $500 Critic Award

Share the Challenge


Media tool kit 

The Challenge

In groups, students brainstorm a project focus, inspired by the latest scientific innovations featured on the project website. All participant groups submit an abstract, which is enhanced by a discussion with their peers in our private Facebook group. With this feedback, they improve and resubmit an expanded abstract.  Scientist judges evaluate the potential of student ideas to make an impact, and vote on the 10 most promising ideas.  ALL participants then select one of these ideas to investigate, after which they submit a 3-minute video and a short research paper.  Students have a chance to win prize money and earn recognition from peers, community and experts.  

Possible school contexts

The Challenges can work in the following school contexts: 

  • As part or whole of your course elective  
  • As a final middle or high school graduation project 
  • As an independent study project 
  • As a free-choice option conducted by students in out-of-school time, and mentored by you 

Proposed student activities are standards-aligned, allowing you to meet district requirements  

Teacher supports
  • Three, two-hour webinars for project orientation, review of materials, strategies for supporting problem-based learning 
  • Ongoing, peer-to-peer support in mentored online discussions to share practices with other teachers 
  • Weekly virtual “office hours” for answers to specific questions or challenges.
  • Professional Development Points for hours spent on the project 

Teachers, indicate your interest here