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Contests for Homeschoolers

by Mary Ann Kelley
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Remember that most contests run on the academic year with registration in the fall and winners announced in the early spring. If you find that there are no current contests when you check, please check back in the fall for the new deadlines.

American Legion National High School Oratorical Contest
The American Legion Oratorical Contest exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students. Since 1938, the program has presented participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation's laws, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship. The program has featured numerous politicians and prominent contestants over the years, including former president candidate Alan Keyes and CNN anchor Lou Dobbs. Young orators earn some of the most generous college scholarships available to high school students. Over $138,000 in scholarships can be awarded each year. The overall national contest winner gets an $18,000 scholarship. Second place takes home $16,000, and third gets $14,000. Each department (state) winner who is certified into and participates in the national contest's first round receives a $1,500 scholarship. Those who advance past the first round receive an additional $1,500 scholarship. The American Legion's National Organization awards the scholarships, which can be used at any college or university in the United States. High school students under age 20 are eligible. Competition begins at the post level and advances to a state competition. Legion department representatives certify one winner per state to the national contest, where department winners compete against each other in two speaking rounds. The contest caps off with a final round that decides the three top finishers. Speaking subjects must be on some aspect of the U.S. Constitution, with some emphasis on the duties and obligations of citizens to our government. Speeches are eight to 10 minutes long; three- to five-minute speeches on an assigned topic also are part of the contest. For more information: oratorical@legion.org
Deadline: Dec 31, 2017
This is an annual contest. (No information found about previous winners.)


Association of Women in Math Essay Contest
Biographies of Contemporary Women in Mathmatics. Open to students Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, and College Undergraduates. Request deadline: January 10, 2018 Submission deadline: January 31, 2018
Deadline: Jan 10, 2018
This is an annual contest. (Previous winners)


C-SPAN StudentCam 2018
StudentCam is an annual national video documentary competition for middle and high school students, grades 6-12.This year students in grades 6-12 are asked to create a short (5-7 minute) video documentary on a topic related to the new 2018 competition theme, "The Constitution & You: Choose any provision of the U.S. Constitution and create a video illustrating why it's important to you."
Deadline: Jan 18, 2018
This is an annual contest. (Previous winners)


Civil Rights Defense Fund Writing Contest
The NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund sponsors a scholarly writing contest for grades K-12. The theme for the essay is "What Does The Second Amendment Mean to You?". The NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund continues its Yearly Youth Essay Contest celebrating the Second Amendment as an integral part of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Essays will be judged in two categories: Senior (grades 9-12) and Junior (grades 8 and below), with separate cash prizes awarded to the winners in each category. First place cash prizes are $1,000, $600 for second place, $200 for third place, and $100 for fourth place. The entry deadline for this contest is December 31, 2017
Deadline: Dec 31, 2017
This is an annual contest. (No information found about previous winners.)


Engineer Girl Essay Contest 2018
"Engineering for Your Community" - The Competition opens September 15, 2017, and will close at 6:00 PM, February 1, 2018, U.S. Eastern Standard Time. All entries must be received prior to this date and time in order to be considered.
Deadline: Feb 01, 2018
This is an annual contest. (No information found about previous winners.)


Math Contests - Homeschool Division
The goal of the competition is to encourage students' interest in math, to inspire students to excel in math, and to convey the message to young students: It is COOL to be good at math! The contest is for students in grades 2, 3, 4 and 5. Any teacher from a public school or a private school is welcome to register their students. Open to Homeschool students in grades 2 - 8.
Deadline: Dec 31, 2017
This is an annual contest. (No information found about previous winners.)


National Young Astronomer Award
N.Y.A.A. is designed to recognize the outstanding achievements by high school aged astronomers throughout the United States. To apply, eligible persons should submit application packages by the January 31 deadline.
Deadline: Jan 31, 2018
This is an annual contest. (Previous winners)


News Bowl USA
The National Contest is a current events challenge involving schools across the nation. Held in the spring, The News Bowl Contest involves teams of 3-5 students by grade level from grade three to high school. Teams form each fall.
Deadline: Dec 31, 2017
This is an annual contest. (No information found about previous winners.)


Optimist International Oratorical Contest
The Optimist Oratorical Contest gives youngsters the chance to speak to the world. Topic for the 2016-2017 School Year is: "What the World Gains from Optimism." Contest is eligible to students under the age of 19 who have not yet graduated from high school or the equivalent and who are educated in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean. The deadline to enter is determined by the sponsoring Optimist Club. All Club-level contests are typically held by late March.
Deadline: Dec 31, 2017
This is an annual contest. (No information found about previous winners.)


Poetic Power Student Writing Contests
Creative Communication is devoted to promoting writing, teaching and appreciation of student writing. The intent of student writing contests is to motivate creative writers. Top entries are published in an anthology that will record the creative insights of today's student writers. Multiple ongoing contests.
Deadline: Dec 31, 2017
This is an annual contest. (No information found about previous winners.)


Profiles in Courage Essay Contest
The annual John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest invites high school students from across the nation to write an original essay about an elected official who has demonstrated political courage. The contest is a companion program of the Profile in Courage Award, named for President Kennedy's 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage, which recounts the stories of eight senators, the obstacles they faced, and the special valor they demonstrated despite the risks. Submissions for the 2018 Profile in Courage Essay Contest will be accepted starting September 1, 2017. The 2018 contest postmark deadline is January 4, 2017.
Deadline: Jan 04, 2018
This is an annual contest. (No information found about previous winners.)


Science Olympiad
The Science Olympiad tournaments are rigorous academic interscholastic competitions. The competitions follow the format of popular board games, TV shows and athletic games. Teams start each fall.
Deadline: Dec 31, 2017
This is an annual contest. (No information found about previous winners.)


Science without Borders Challenge
Science without Borders Challenge is a yearly contest that engages secondary students to promote public awareness of the need to preserve, protect, and restore the world's oceans and aquatic resources through various forms of media. The contest is for middle and high school students ages 11-19 including homeschoolers. The theme for the 2017 Science without Borders Challenge is "Reef SuperSpecies". For this year's Challenge, use your imagination to create a piece of art that illustrates a made-up Reef SuperSpecies. A Reef SuperSpecies is an organism (plant or animal) that has found a way to adapt to a deadly threat facing coral reef ecosystems. You can make up an organism or base your organism off of an already existing reef organism. The deadline is Monday, April 23, 2018 by 11:59 pm (Eastern Standard Time).
Deadline: Apr 23, 2018
This is an annual contest. (Previous winners)


Team America Rocketry Challenge
The Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) is the only aerospace-specific national STEM competition. TARC has reached over 55,000 students in the past decade. An extra-curricular hands-on project-based learning program, the TARC competition is modeled around the aerospace industry's design, fabrication and testing processes. All students participate in a team of 3-10 students to design, build, and fly a rocket. Like aerospace companies work within specific design parameters, every year the challenge requires teams to achieve the same basic mission-oriented goals of hitting a precise altitude, landing within a specific flight time window, and returning a raw egg ("the astronaut") without cracking. Each year a unique task is also included; this year we are challenging students to fly two eggs and to use two parachutes to recover the rocket and eggs. Registration begins annually in September.
Deadline: Nov 30, 2017
This is an annual contest. (No information found about previous winners.)


The Action For Nature's International Young Eco-Hero Award
Honors the work of young people between the ages of 8 and 16 who have done creative environmental projects. The winners of AFN's International Young Eco-Hero Awards program receive a cash prize and a special certificate, as well as public recognition on the Web site and elsewhere.
Deadline: Feb 28, 2018
This is an annual contest. (Previous winners)


The Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program
An educational arts and science program teaching students grades K - 12 the importance of conservation, waterfowl and wetlands. State art contests are held annually from February to April. Deadline for entries in the United States and U.S. Territories is March 1. Note the deadlines for the following states; South Carolina is January 10, Arizona is March 1, and Ohio is March 1. See listing of state deadlines in appliction.
Deadline: Mar 01, 2018
This is an annual contest. (No information found about previous winners.)


The Radiant Peace Education Awards
All students in grades 1-12 from public and private schools, home schools, youth and afterschool groups, and abroad are welcome to enter the national program of The Radiant Peace Education Awards. The Radiant Peace Education Awards program gives students an opportunity to express themselves about Radiant Peace in their own lives in essays, art, videos and projects. Two contest held annually. Deadlines are April and December of each year
Deadline: Dec 31, 2017
This is an annual contest. (Previous winners)


You Be The Chemist Challenge
The You Be The Chemist (YBTC) Challenge is an interactive academic competition that engages grade 5?8 students in learning with their peers (and their community!) about important chemistry concepts, scientific discoveries, and laboratory safety. The Challenge is similar in format to spelling bee/quiz bowl competitions but engages participating students in the study of chemistry. The YBTC Challenge is organized into three competitive levels: local, state, and national. Local Challenges take place in communities nationwide through the collaborative efforts of industry, educators, and other community volunteers. Challenges begin in the fall of each school year.
Deadline: Dec 31, 2017
This is an annual contest. (No information found about previous winners.)


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