The Baltimore Science Fair – registration closes on March 13, 2019 (or when full)

The Baltimore Science Fair will be held on March 23-24, 2019, at Towson University.

Registration closes on March 13 or when the fair reaches its capacity.

The Baltimore Science Fair is a math, biology, physical science, and engineering research based competition open to all middle and high school students in public, private, parochial, and home schools in Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, and Howard counties and Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in Baltimore City.

Over 150 awards are given out each year by organizations such as the US Army, National Space Society, US Public Health Services, NSA, Raytheon Solipsys, and the US Navy.   There are certificates, medallions, cash prizes ranging from $25 – $500, and even a scholarship to Towson University.

Grand Prize Winners (high school students only) and their teachers go on to compete at ISEF.  The top 10% of middle school student projects are entered into the Broadcom Masters National competition with an opportunity to become a national finalist at the Washington, DC fair.

For more information and to register, visit the Baltimore Science Fair website.

Youth Voices Contest — deadline Jan. 15, 2019

A national organization — Strategies for Youth — is coordinating a contest regarding police and youth interactions.

Students, ages 12 – 18, can enter individually and as groups and express their ideas for improving interactions between police and youth. Submissions can be essays, drawings, paintings, cartoons, animated cartoons,photographs, sculptures, collages, or videos.

Two prizes will be awarded:

$1,000 for a winner (age 12 – 14)

$1,500 for a winner (age 15 – 18)

Written entries and photos or scans of artwork should be emailed to:

Art submissions may also be mailed to Strategies for Youth, Contest, PO Box 390174, Cambridge, MA 02139.

For questions please email: or call 617-714-3789.

Visit the Strategies for Youth website for more detailed instructions.


AmeriCorps options for high school seniors and others

AmeriCorps is an option for high school seniors and college students, especially those needing support in planning their next steps. Additionally, a high school diploma or GED is not required to participate in AmeriCorps, making it an excellent option for students who have dropped out of school. AmeriCorps works to meet the needs of each individual in terms of education and training, including those with low reading and math skills. For those already enrolled in a college or technical school, most award college credits for internship/co-op experience for their months of service.

Through AmeriCorps, students are assigned to nonprofits, government agencies, institutions, and community-based organizations. In exchange for their 10 months of service, students receive money for future college study/job training or to pay off existing student loans (equal to current Pell Grant), student loan deferment, living allowances, health benefits, and new job skills.

AmeriCorps offers two Federal programs for 18 to 24 year olds including the NCCC Traditional Corps (Civilian Conservation Corps) and the FEMA Corps, which is focused on response to natural disasters.  Additionally, for those 18 and over with existing leadership skills (no upper age restriction) there is a Team Leader option for both NCCC and FEMA. Team Leaders manage groups of 8 to 10 young adults. All programs are open to citizens of any U.S. state or territory.

Learn more.

Operation Prevention Video Challenge — deadline March 6, 2019

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the DEA Educational Foundation, and Discovery Education announce the launch of the third annual Operation Prevention Video Challenge – a peer-to-peer platform for communicating messages about the dangers of opioid misuse.

Part of DEA’s Operation Prevention program, the video challenge encourages teens to create a 30-60 second original public service announcement that alerts other students about the dangers of prescription opioid misuse and heroin use. Overall, the challenge aims to inspire teens to research the opioid epidemic, identify its widespread impact on the country and the substances’ harmful effects on the body, and start a social movement that encourages authentic dialogue about this critical issue. The top 10 finalist videos will be uploaded to for a public vote to determine the People’s Choice winner. Winning PSAs will be featured on-air, and across Discovery Education and DEA digital and social media platforms.

Prizes for winning submissions, include:

  • 1st place: $10,000;
  • 2nd place: $5,000;
  • 3rd place: $1,000; and
  • People’s Choice: A VIP trip to Quantico, Virginia, for a tour of the DEA Training Academy – Do you have what it takes to be a Junior Special Agent for the day?

The Operation Prevention Video Challenge is now open and will close on March 6, 2019. Public voting for the People’s Choice winner will take place April 11-25, 2019. United States high school students, ages 13 and older, can register and find more information about the challenge here.

Write-a-Story Contest sponsored by Scholastic Scope — deadline March 1, 2019

Scholastic Scope is sponsoring a writing contest in collaboration with author Jason Reynolds. He has written three first lines, and students in Grades 5 – 10-are asked to choose one and turn it into a 800 – 3,000 word short story. Entries are due by March 1, 2019;

The winner will receive $100 and his or her story will be posted on Scope Online. The winner’s class will receive copies of Reynold’s novel Ghost, and the winner’s teacher will receive a free one-year subscription to Scope.

To see the three first lines, learn more about the contest rules, and complete the contest entry form, visit the Scope contests website.

Opportunities galore! Contests, programs, and activities approved by secondary school principals

Looking for competitions, summer programs, career exploration programs, leadership development opportunities and more? The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) maintains a free online, searchable database. All the programs in the database have been reviewed and approved on the basis of educational value, financial support, organizational structure, promotional accuracy, and fair, appropriate adjudication. This is a national list, so not all opportunities are open or easily accessible to BCPS students, but it is definitely worth exploring.

Enter NPR’s Student Podcast Challenge — deadline March 31, 2019

NPR (National Public Radio) is hosting a Student Podcast Challenge for students from Grades 5 – 12. Podcasts, from 3 – 12 minutes long, can be from classes or extracurricular groups and will need to be submitted with help from a teacher. Winning submissions will be aired on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered programs.

Submissions will be accepted from Jan. 1 – March 31, 2019. For more information, a submission guide, suggested prompts, and official rules, visit the NPR website.

Winners will be announced in April.