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Arts & Humanities

Nov 1International Compost Awareness Week Poster ContestStudents in grades 9-12 can create a poster for International Compost Awareness Week. The winner gets $500 and the chance to see their poster produced professionally.
Nov 15“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band Concerto CompetitionCompetition is open to high school musicians (grades 9-12) enrolled during the 2023-2024 academic year. String, piano and harp players are eligible to apply. (Woodwind, brass and percussion players will be eligible in the 2025 competition.) The winner will appear as a guest soloist with the Marine Chamber Orchestra during the 2024 concert season and receive a $2,500 scholarship from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. Second and third-place winners will receive $1,000 and $500 scholarships respectively.
Dec 1

Scholastic Arts & Writing AwardsStudents age 13 and up can apply in 28 categories of art and writing. $10 for each entry submission or $30 for each portfolio submission. Receive scholarships, cash awards or tuition assistance by participating in the awards. Register online. The host of the Iowa Multi-State Art & Writing Region is:
Belin-Blank Center
600 Blank Honors Center
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242-0454
Gold Keys and American Vision & Voices nominees advance to national judging.
Jan 19
11:59 PST
C-Span StudentCam CompetitionA video documentary competition open to students in grades 6-8 and 9-12. Students may compete individually or in teams of 2-3 members. This year the t+opic that relates to the competition theme is “Looking Forward, While Considering the Past.” Students choose one of two prompts. Prizes are rewarded for the top 150 documentaries. Teachers for the top 50 winning films also receive a cash award. Over $100,000 is cash prizes is awarded each year. See specific competition requirements.
Feb 15BMI Foundation Awards
(Broadcast Music Incorporated)
Annual, nationwide competitions open to aspiring songwriters and composers between the ages of 17 and 24. The program offers up to $20,000 awards:
BMI Composer Award: Creation of classical music
BMI Jazz Master Award: Evidence of talent and potential as a jazz performer and composer.
Dolly Partin Songwriters Award: original songs in the genres of Americana, blues, bluegrass,
contemporary Christian, country, folk, or roots.
John Lennon Award: original song or instrumental composition of contemporary musical genres including alternative, pop, rock, indie, electronica, R&B, and experimental.
Peer music Latin Award: original song or instrumental composition in any Latin genre.
Mar 1: Free Submission
Apr 29: Regular Submission
May 31: Late Submission
July 1: Final Deadline

Oct 2024
New York
All American High School Film FestivalThe All-American High School Film Festival (AAHSFF) is the premier destination for talented high school filmmakers and media arts enthusiasts from around the world. It provides immersive education with a profound impact, connecting the filmmakers of the future with the rewards, respect, and recognition they deserve. The contest offers a grand stage for the next generation of talented filmmakers where students can: screen their amazing creations, learn from top industry professionals, connect with the latest technology, explore higher education opportunities, receive scholarships and technology prizes, and perhaps most importantly, create a community of shared passions and lifelong relationships.
Mar 12
Registration Closes
Mar 20 Grant Wood In-person Contest
National History DayStudents in grades 6-12 conduct original research on historical topics of interest. Students compete at the local level as an individual or in a small group in a choice of categories: documentary, exhibit, paper, performance or website. Students enter projects at the local level, with top students advancing to state and national levels.
May 1ArtEffect CompetitionThe ArtEffect Project teaches students in grades 6-12 about their power to effect positive change through creative storytelling that celebrates unsung heroes from history. Students submit high-quality creative art projects in the visual arts, narrative film, theater, and creative nonfiction genres. Over $20,000 in prizes are awarded.
July 1Discovery AwardWith prizes totaling over $25,000, the Discovery Award recognizes outstanding Unsung Heroes projects by students in grades 4-12. Project topics must be about one Unsung Hero whose action made a profound and positive impact on history. Students projects must be in one of the following categories: Documentary film or multimedia, performance, or website. Students may work individually or in a group of students numbering five or less. A process paper is also required.

Essay & Speech

Oct 31VFW
Voice of Democracy

Patriots Pen
Voice of Democracy: Students in grades 9-12 record a reading of their 3-5 minute essay covering a democratic and patriotic-themed essay. The national winner receives a $35,000 scholarship. Each state winner receives a minimum scholarship of $1000. Submit all entry materials to the local VFW post.

Patriot’s Pen: Students in grades 6-8 submit a 300-400 word essay expressing their views on a patriotic theme. Each first place state winner recieves $500 and the national winner $5000.
Ask Local Post in Hiawatha or Marion for competition date. 1st round must be completed before December 4th.American Legion Oratorical ContestStudents in grades 9-12 present an 8-10 minute speech on the constitution and 3-5 minute speeches on assigned topics. Winners receive award money at each level of competition. National scholarship winners receive scholarships between $2000 and $25,000.
Dec 1 Fleet Reserve Association Essay ContestStudents in grades 7-12 write a 350 word essay about “What Memorial Day means to me.” The grand national winner will receive $1,500, with additional prizes for the top three essays in each grade category. Additional prizes may be awarded to students winning at local and regional levels of competition. Mail local submission materials to:
Branch: 242-IA, DAVENPORT
Name : William T. Craig, Jr.
Address : 2317 E Pleasant St Davenport, IA 52803-2325
Email :
Phone : (563) 322-7808
Dec 15
submit to local chapter in Des Moines
National Sojourners 2024 Essay ContestOpen to students currently in the 9th to 12th grades. Submit your 300-500 word essay to the local National Sojourners Chapter (Des Moines) using the “Authorized Cover Sheet”. Each Chapter submits a maximum of 3 essays to National Sojourners Headquarters, received at National by Jan. 15th, 2024. Describe three (3) main causes of the American Revolutionary War and how they led to armed conflict with Great Britain.
Top three essays will receive $1000 – $3000 and a National Sojourner’s plaque
Jan 12John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay ContestStudent in grades 9-12 write an essay that demonstrates an understanding of political courage. Each year the topic has a different prompt. The topic this year is Describe and analyze an act of political courage by a US elected official who served during or after 1917
Scholarships range from $100 – $10,000
Feb 1EngineerGirl Writing ContestStudents in grades 3-12 write an essay focusing on the lifecycle of consumer products. There are three contest divisions: Elementary (3-5), Middle School (6-8), and High School (9-12).

Winners in each grade category will receive the prizes listed below:
First-place winners will be awarded $1,000.
Second-place entries will be awarded $750.
Third-place entries will be awarded $500.
March TBD
Club contests
Optimist International Oratorical ContestStudents must be under the age of 19 as of October 1st to participate. The 2024 Topic is “How to Change the World with Optimism.”
May 1-2Ronald Reagan Great Communicator Debate Series
Students in grades 9-12. The debates search for students who can effectively use logic, evidence, and personality to communicate their ideas, just as Ronald Reagan did throughout his life. Competitors who qualify for the National Championship receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Southern California. The three day trip will include a private tour of the library and dinner under the wings of Air Force One. $50,000 in scholarship money will be awarded!


OngoingW.I.S.E. Award Frances O. Williamson Inventions in Science EducationFor students in PreK-12. Enter any idea for a new way to demonstrate an educational concept, an idea for a new product, or an improvement for an existing product or procedure. Monetary prizes are awarded each month! This is an ongoing contest and there is no deadline! Winning entries are National winners.
Oct 1 – Apr 30Rapunzl National Investment CompetitionStudents in grades 9-12 simulate a free $10,000 stock portfolio and buy & sell companies with real-time pricing, provided by Nasdaq. Participation is free and assumes no prior understanding of the stock market. $35k in annual prizes and $2k in scholarships each month. Watch the video before downloading the Rapunzl app. Video link
Oct 27Samsung Solve for TomorrowStudents in grades 6-12 dentify significant societal and environmental challenges, designing STEM-based solutions to address urban decay, social inequality, food waste, mental health, climate change, and so much more. Applicants have a chance to win a share of $2 million in Samsung technology and supplies for their classroom.
Nov 3Conrad ChallengeStudent between the ages of 13 and 18 may participate as a member of a team of 2-5 students. Teammates may compete from any corner of the globe. Teams can be formed with schoolmates, siblings, camp friends or any other eligible students. Over the course of the year, teammates will go step-by-step through the entrepreneurial process and design an innovation that solves an important problem.
Nov 8Regeneron Science Talent SearchU.S. High School Seniors in the Class of 2024 are invited to apply online to the nation’s oldest and most prestigious STEM research competition.
Dec 1American Rocketry (Team) ChallengeThe American Rocketry Challenge is the world’s largest rocket contest! The contest gives students in grades 6-12 the opportunity to design, build and launch model rockets and hands-on experience solving engineering problems. Students work together on a team of three to ten students. National prizes for teams placing in the top ten and separate prize categories for marketing and presentation. Compete for the chance to win $100,000 in prizes and an all-expenses paid trip to the Paris Airshow.
Jan 31Toshiba/NSTA
The ExploraVision competition for K-12 students engages the next generation in real world problem solving with a strong emphasis on STEM.
A teacher will sponsor and lead his/her students as they work in groups of 2 – 4 to simulate real research and development. Guided by the teaacher, students pick a current technology, research it, envision what it might look like in 10 or more years, and describe the development steps, pros & cons, and obstacles.

ExploraVision has four categories:
Primary Level (Grades K – 3)
Upper Elementary Level (Grades 4 – 6)
Middle Level (Grades 7 – 9)
High School Level (Grades 10 – 12)


$10,000 savings bond for each first-place team member and $5,000 for each second-place team member; A trip to Washington, D.C. in June for ExploraVision Awards Weekend for each national winning student and their parents/guardians; A Chromebook for each regional winning student; A unique prize for all students on the 500 Honorable Mention winning teams; A certificate of participation and an entry gift for every student who submits a complete project
Feb 1Slingshot ChallengeThe National Geographic Society believes that no problem is unsolvable and that great ideas come from ALL places. Students who are between the ages of 13 and 18 can rise to the challenge and submit a 1-minute video describing their idea for solving environmental issues for the chance to receive up to $10,000 in funding.
TBDNational Space Club and Foundation Scholars ProgramSummer intern program, for up to 55 high school students, with space scientists and engineers, sponsored by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD and NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, VA in cooperation with the National Space Club and Foundation. The program is conducted for six weeks each summer, from late June until early August.
Feb 18
midnight CST
Blue Ocean High School Entrepreneurship CompetitionThe competition was founded in Maryland in 2014 by a young budding high school entrepreneur directly inspired by Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne’s Blue Ocean Strategy and the blue ocean way of thinking. It has since evolved from a countywide competition to the largest virtual high school entrepreneurship competition in the world. High school students came from all corners of the globe making the competition truly global.

The webinar and Blue Ocean mini-course will help you learn about Blue Ocean thinking.
Students think of a real-world problem that no one has solved before and create a blue ocean business idea to solve it. The provided templates will help you structure your pitch and record a five minute video. $500 – $1000 awards for individuals and schools
Feb 23Rubberband Contest for Young InventorsStudents in grades 5-8 have an opportunity to have fun learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. Each year students from across the nation come up with new ways of using rubber band(s) to create amazing inventions, games, artworks, and more! Winners are awarded in two divisions: Art & Leisure and Science and Engineering. Top ten schools also receive cash prizes.
Mar 16 Eastern Iowa Science and Engineering Fair – Cedar RapidsStudents in grades 6-12 exhibit their science projects and explain what they have learned. Deserving students are recognized with awards, prizes, and scholarships; top students are sent to the International Science and Engineering Fair.
2 Research Categories: Biological and Physical.
2 Age Groups: Junior (grades 6–8) and Senior (grades 9–12).
2 Project Types: Individual and Team
5 Divisions:
Junior Biological (JB)
Junior Physical (JP)
Junior Teams (JT)
Senior Biological (SB)
Senior Physical (SP)
TBDRegeneron International Science and Engineering Fair – Los Angelos, CaliforniaStudents must be selected by judges at the Eastern Iowa Science and Engineering Fair (see contest above 3/16) to participate.
Registration: March 28
April 3rd
Biomimicry Youth Design ChallengeThe Biomimicry Institute’s Youth Design Challenge (YDC) is a project-based learning experience that asks middle and high school teams (grades 6-12) to design bio-inspired ideas that can provide solutions to critical real-world problems. It provides a framework for formal and informal educators to introduce biomimicry as an engineering design strategy, to integrate relevant purposeful STEM experiences, and to provide engaging instruction aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
Apr 4 & 5State Science Technology Fair of Iowa – AmesStudent researcher (grades 6-12) meets with professional researchers and communicates their findings and understanding of the research process. The SSTFI is an affiliate of the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair.
Feb 28
National Youth Science AcademySenior with superior academic proficiency, including recognition in mathematics and/or the sciences; leadership abilities and social maturity through involvement in both school and community activities. Two delegates from each state will be selected to attend the National Youth Science Camp (NYSCamp). The NYSCamp is a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program designed to honor and challenge some of the nation’s rising leaders.
Mar 29
Apr 25
World Food Prize Global Challenge, Iowa Youth Institute, Iowa State University, AmesStudents in grades 9-12 research a global challenge and write a paper about the problem and a proposed solution. Students can earn scholarships, become recognized as a Borlaug Scholar, qualify for the Global Youth Institute, paid fellowships, and international scholarships.
June 25Breakthrough Junior ChallengeStudents ages 13 to 18 from countries across the globe are invited to create and submit original videos (2:00 minutes in length maximum) that bring to life a concept or theory in the life sciences, physics or mathematics. The submissions are judged on the student’s ability to communicate complex scientific ideas in engaging, illuminating, and imaginative ways.

If your video is chosen as the Winner, you will receive a $250,000 Post-secondary scholarship, $50,000 Prize for your teacher, and a $100,000 Breakthrough Science Lab for your school