High school competitions are a great way to stand out in the application pool! In the college admission process, if your standardized test scores are entry passes to enter the college’s door, extracurricular activities are what make you stand out to the admissions officer. And more importantly, some extracurricular activities will make a stronger impression than the rest.
For example, a student who received an international prize in Physics will stand out more than a student who won a regional prize in a physics competition. In terms of extracurricular activities, Aralia Education believes participating in academic competitions is an advantage for every student. Participation and recognition showcase a student’s academic excellence, contest selection reflects their passion as well as their soft and/or hard skills.
At Aralia Education Technology, we keep track of all international prestigious high school competitions and stay updated with deadlines and information. With our help, we want parents and students can easily navigate through the world of competitions and be able to make the best judgments on which competitions to attend. For students who want more practice and improvement in certain subjects as preparation for competitions, we also offer multiple courses from instructors and professors who are experts in similar fields.
Feel free to save the infographic at the end of the article to keep track of all competitions for high school students happening throughout the year. Please keep in mind that the infographic provides a deadline for competitions; however, the actual preparation time can range longer, from 2 weeks to several months. If you want to quickly read through some of the top competitions internationally, keep reading.
High School Competitions: Writing Competition
New York Times Magazine has announced their high school competitions for the academic year 2020-2021. All competitions welcome middle school and high school students from across the world. Tens of thousands of students from around the world participate in their contests each year, from creating podcasts, writing editorials, to responding to the news. Since Aralia Education is only providing information about competitions for this year, here is a list of competitions that New York Times Magazine is having in 2021:
- STEM Writing Contest (Jan 19 – March 2, 2021)
STEM Writing Contest allows a student to choose an issue or question in science, technology, engineering, math, or health, then write an engaging 500-word explanation about the issue and why the issue is important to people.
- Editorial Contest (Feb 23 – April 13, 2021)
Editorial Contest invites students to write a concise editorial (450 words or fewer) about a topic that they care about using evidence from sources (both within and outside The New York Times)
- Podcast Challenge (April 8 – May 18, 2021)
Podcast Challenge invites students to submit a podcast of five minutes or less about any topics they prefer
- Summer Reading Contest (June 10 – August 19, 2021)
Summer Reading Contest invites students to choose something in The Times that has sparked their interest, then tell us why. At the end of every week, judges from the Times newsroom pick favorite responses, and the winner’s work will be published on NY Times.
In connection with the Library of Congress, River of Words invites students from age of 5-8 to participate in an international poetry and art contest. The competition is designed to help children explore the natural and cultural history of their local watersheds. 8 grand prize winners receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC to attend an awards ceremony at the Library of Congress.
This contest invites students in grades 9-12 worldwide to examine, question, and reflect on important concepts in genetics.
All humans are 99.9% genetically identical at the DNA level. Remarkably, just a small fraction (0.1%) of our DNA contributes to the different characteristics among populations around the world and that makes every person unique. Important discoveries in human genetics and genomics often rely on comparing groups of people, for example, people with a given disease compared to people without the disease. These studies utilize genomic data from individuals who have contributed their DNA for research purposes, most of which (approximately 80%) are individuals of European ancestry.
- How does this population representation impact genomic findings?
- Can the data and results of these studies still be useful for studies in other populations from around the world?
- Discuss whether the inclusion of more diverse populations in genetic and genomic studies holds the potential to benefit future genetic research and improve human health.
In this category, we’ll point out some of the top national science competitions within STEM. For the full list of all competitions, please refer to the 8 best STEM high school competitions for students.
Since having first taken place in 1950, AMC has now become the leader in strengthening the mathematical capabilities of the next generation’s problem-solvers around the world. There are dozens of participating countries, including nearly 3,000 schools in Canada, Britain, France, Singapore, South Korea, India, Belgium, Finland, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. There are 350,000 students and 6,000 schools that register for the competition in the United States every year.
The American Chemistry Olympiad has been organized by the American Chemical Society (ACS) since 1984. It is an influential high school chemistry competition in the United States. It aims to stimulate and cultivate a new generation of young students’ passion for pursuing chemistry in higher education. As one of the top competitions in the United States, nearly 1,600 American young scientists participate every year.
The Physics Bowl American High School Physics Competition is organized by the American Physics Teachers Association, the only academic institution in the U.S. specializing in popularizing and improving physics education. Every year, the association provides the latest physics frontier ideas and the richest physics education resources for American universities and high schools through conferences, forums, and competitions.
The United States of America Computing Olympiad (USACO) is a computer programming competition. The competition encourages students from grades 6-12 to challenge their programming/computer science skills to test in the United States.
BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology) is a national six-week robotics competition in the United States held each fall. The competition is open to students in middle school and high school students in possible engineering careers. The games are similar in scale to those of the FIRST Tech Challenge.
The Diamond Challenge provides a unique opportunity for 10,000+ teens to learn about entrepreneurship while putting their problem-solving ideas into action. High school students participate in a year-long program and develop ideas to address pressing challenges they’ve identified. They will work in teams to develop business ideas and plans.
This competition invites teams to develop an investment strategy, analyze industries and companies. They will build a portfolio using $100,000 in virtual cash over the course of 10 weeks, with the client announced at the beginning of the competition)
Social Science Competitions
The International Linguistics Olympiad invites teams of young linguists from around the world to gather and test their minds against the world’s toughest puzzles in language and linguistics.
Google invites students to participate in Code Jam, a long-running global coding competition, where programmers of all levels put their skills to the test. Competitors work their way through a series of online algorithmic puzzles to earn a spot at the World Finals.
Kaggle Competition invites students to find and publish data sets, explore and build models in a web-based data-science environment. Students will work with other data scientists and machine learning engineers, and enter competitions to solve data science challenges
NSAD invites middle and high school students around the world to participate in the largest academic competition in the world to debate current events, voice their views, and share their stories. Winners will be crowned champions in front of a live audience of thousands and tens of thousands more streaming the events online.
International Academic Competitions organizes the team and individual competitions in history, geography, science, the humanities, and other subjects for primary and secondary students of all ages. Their events are held in the United States, Asia, Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other areas across the globe.