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Top 10 Science Fairs for High School Students

Top 10 Science Fairs for High School Students

Are you a high school student interested in science exploration and doing science experiments? In this article, we will cover our curated list of the top 10 science fairs in the U.S. We hope that this article will help guide you through choosing the right competitions to participate in. Explore these science fairs for high school students to ignite your passion for science today!

Regeneron ISEF stands for the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair. Organized by the Society for Science & in partnership with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (before 2019, they were known as Intel Foundation), it is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious science fairs for high school students from every state in the United States and more than 70 countries around the world.

Regeneron ISEF normally refers to the final international fair that happens in May, but, to qualify for the international competition, students have to participate in a series of competitions beforehand. Students must participate in the local, regional, state, and national levels of the Science and Engineering Fair and/or the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge to win the right to attend Regeneron ISEF.


We covered the step-by-step guide on this science fair in our blog here.


Eligibility: Students in grades 9-12 or equivalent who have not reached age 20 on or before May 1 preceding ISEF.


April 12, 2024: Last date to hold a Regeneron ISEF affiliated fair. Regional fairs that feed into state fairs should coordinate the date of their fairs with the state.

May 11-17, 2024: Regeneron ISEF 2024 – Los Angeles, CA

Step-by-Step Guide to the Regeneron ISEF

Established in 1942, the Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS) is America’s oldest, most prestigious, and highly competitive science fair and research competition. It is sponsored by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and run by the Society for Science. The primary goal of Regeneron STS is to identify future leaders in the field of science. Many STS alumni have achieved remarkable success, gaining admission to renowned universities worldwide and receiving significant accolades for their scientific contributions. Notably, thirteen STS alumni have been awarded Nobel Prizes in science, while others have earned Fields Medals and MacArthur Fellowships.

Students participating in the Regeneron Science Talent Search are required to conduct original research and provide data or results as part of their application, although it is not mandatory for their work to be published in a scientific journal. While students can receive support and mentorship from adult scientific researchers and may work in external science labs or institutions, they must clearly demonstrate their individual contributions and provide concrete evidence of leading the research process.

We covered the step-by-step guide on this science fair in our blog here.

Eligibility: students must be studying in the United States and be in their final year of secondary school (12th grade). It is important to note that U.S. citizenship is not required for U.S. students to apply. Additionally, students who are U.S. citizens but studying outside of the U.S. are also eligible to participate in the competition.


  • Applications open June 1, 2023
  • Applications and Recommendations due November 8, 2023, at 8 pm
  • Top 300 Announced January 10, 2024
  • Top 40 Announced January 24, 2024
  • Winners’ Finals Week March 6 to March 13, 2024
  • Public Exhibition March 10, 2024
  • Awards Ceremony March 12, 2024

Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS): The Most Complete Guide

The Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge, a program of the Society for Science, is a national science, technology, engineering, and math competition for high school students. The competition seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers, and innovators to solve the grand challenges of the 21st century and inspire them to continue studying science and engineering. Teams of up to three students may enter, but each student must submit an individual application.

Eligibility: 6th, 7th, or 8th grade students must compete in a Society affiliate fair in the United States or a U.S. territory before applying for the challenge. Then, the top 10% of those students will be nominated to participate in the challenge.


  • Application Open: February 1, 2024 – June 14, 2024
  • Top 300 Junior Innovators Announced: September 4, 2024
  • Top 30 Finalists Announced: September 18, 2024
  • Finals Week: October 2024 (exact dates TBD)
  • Science and Engineering Project Showcase: October 2024 (exact date TBD)

During the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, high school students from grades 9-12 can participate in competitions for various major disciplines, including Environmental Science, Biomedical Sciences, Cell/Molecular Biology, Life Sciences, Medicine & Health/Behavioral Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Math and Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Physical Sciences, Chemistry, etc. Students are invited to compete in an affiliated JSHS regional symposium and may win the opportunity to advance to the National JSHS. Participating students must write an original research paper 5-20 pages long and present their findings to a group of judges and peers.


  • September – February: Student applications and teacher nominations.
  • January – March: JSHS Regional Symposia held
  • May 1-4, 2024: National JSHS is held in Albuquerque, New Mexico

The High School Science Symposium, held annually at Cincinnati Children’s, offers a unique opportunity for high school students to delve into the world of biomedical and allied health sciences. By interacting directly with professionals in the field, students gain insights into groundbreaking research aimed at combating childhood diseases and enhancing pediatric care. This initiative aims to inspire young minds to pursue careers in these vital areas.

Eligibility: High school juniors and seniors in the Cincinnati area

2024 Symposium: Fall 2024

GENIUS Olympiad is an international high school project competition about environmental issues. It was founded and organized by Terra Science and Education and is hosted by the Rochester Institute of Technology. GENIUS Olympiad will host projects in five general disciplines with an environmental focus. Students can participate in one of the 8 categories: Science, Writing, Business, Robotics, Art, Music, Short Film, or Coding. The competition has historically been hosted on the Rochester Institute of Technology University campus.

Eligibility: Students from age 4 to 18. 


  • Deadline to submit: March 8, 2024
  • Request Visa Letters: April 3 – May 1
  • Trip & Travel Registration: April 3 – May 10: NYC, DC, Boston, SixFlags trips
  • GENIUS Finals: June 10-14

The Conrad Challenge is an annual, virtual, innovation and entrepreneurial competition that encourages participants to address some of the most pressing global challenges. Participants work together to identify challenges and develop solutions to some of the world’s most complex problems in any of the following categories: Aerospace & Aviation, Cyber-Technology & Security, Energy & Environment, Health & Nutrition, the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World with 2 unique categories, and Oceans: The Plastic Problem. Teams may submit in multiple categories if desired.

There are three rounds to the competition: 

  • The pitch round is to explain students’ product/service concept and how it creates a solution to a real-world challenge.
  • The Business Plan: Students develop a strategic business plan in support of their solution.
  • The Innovation Summit: The top 5 teams in each category are invited to the final round of the competition, where they present their innovations in front of a panel of expert judges.

Eligibility: A team of 2-5 students between 13-18 years old

Registration opens Nov 3, 2023. The Power Pitch Stage starts on April 23-26, 2024

The National Science Bowl is a nationwide academic competition created by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to encourage students to excel in mathematics and science, and to pursue careers in these fields. The competition tests students’ knowledge in all areas of science and mathematics, including biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, energy, and math. Students participate in regional competitions; then, winning teams move forward to the national competition.

Competition Date: April 25 – April 29, 2024

Eligibility: Middle and high school students

Application Deadline: Registration closes 3 weeks prior to the date of the regional event

eCYBERMISSION is a free, virtual STEM competition for students in grades 6-9. Participating students will form a team of 2-4, along with an adult team advisor, to solve a community problem. Teams choose one of two paths: Science – Asking a question/exploring a problem or Engineering – Solving a problem.

Eligibility: Students in grades 6 to 9


  • Registration: August 16, 2023 – February 28, 2023
  • Virtual Judging: March 13 – March 27, 2024
  • Regional Judging: April 22 – April 26, 2024 
  • State Winners, Regional Finalists & National Finalists Announced: May 3, 2024   
  • National Judging & Educational Event: June 24 – June 28, 2024    

The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision STEM competition is a perfect virtual and/or in-person critical thinking, creative, and collaborative skill-learning tool for K-12 students in the U.S. and Canada. Students will work in groups of two, three, or four, along with a team coach, to solve real-world problems with a focus on STEM.

Each team selects a technology or an aspect of a technology, that is present in the home, school, or community, or any other technology relevant to their lives. They will explore what the technology does, how it works, and how, when, and why it was invented. The students must then project into the future what that technology could be like 10 or more years in the future and determine what scientific breakthroughs need to occur to make it a reality.

Eligibility: 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)


  • Project Deadline: February 7, 2024
  • Regional Winner Announced: Apr 1, 2024
  • National Winner Announced: May 6, 2024   
  • ExploraVision Award Weekend:  June 13-14, 2024

In addition to participating in these renowned science fairs and competitions, high school students can also consider joining Aralia’s Science Research Program. This program provides a structured and supportive environment for students interested in conducting scientific research. Through mentorship from experienced researchers, students can delve into diverse scientific disciplines and explore their research interests in-depth. Aralia’s Science Research Program offers invaluable opportunities for hands-on experimentation, data analysis, and presentation of findings, preparing students for success in both academic and professional endeavors. Joining this program can be a rewarding complement to involvement in science fairs, offering a comprehensive approach to scientific inquiry and discovery.


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