Science competitions are a great way for your students to apply the abstract lessons that they learn in the classroom. Not only will they be able to give real-world application to those ideas, but science competitions are also a great way to learn team building, communication and teamwork. Whether you are working with students that need to be additionally challenged to push themselves or students that need an extra bit of encouragement to try harder in the classroom, science competitions can be great motivators.
There are many competitions for your students to get involved in. You can host your own event at your school, or encourage your students to apply for local, regional or even national competitions. The most popular national sports competitions are hosted by the US Department of Energy, ExploraVision, and Siemens, and often offer lucrative scholarships for the winning teams.
The Department of Education's Science Bowl is not only a traditional science fair but a competition similar to quiz bowl, as well. High School and Middle School students are asked questions from every area of science. In addition to the "Jeopardy" section there is a model fuel-cell car competition. This Science Bowl is the only national competition sponsored by a government agency.
ExploraVision and Siemens competitions are for students K-12 in the US and Canada. They are run as the science fair you are familiar with; teams competing against each other for US bonds and scholarships. Recently, ExploraVision has been more aboutventions and Siemens has leaned towards green improvements and ideas.